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600081 100Q 






By don ALDUS. 

<- .- ■ 

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\Cofyrtght reservcdi\ 


iff A - 



Although some years have passed since this work 
escaped, as a pastime, from my pen, several of the 
subjects dealt with have become, more than ever, 
matter for legislative consideration and public atten- 
tion ; therefore, at the request of many friends, I have 
been induced to offer it for public acceptance, not on 
the ground of its literary merits, but simply as a col- 
lection of Facts suited to the time. 

The scene opens at Hong Kong, where I join an 
expedition of Coolies, the kidnapping, treatment, and 
transporting of whom form the leading feature of the 
work, interspersed with other incidents of my life and * 
travels about the world, comprising a disastrous 
voyage to Australia; a cruise through the Mediter- 
ranean, with a brief description of Athens, a descrip- 
tive outline of Salonica, Constantinople, Odessa, and ' 
other places on the route; together with a short 
practical view of the existing state of the British Mer- 


cantile Marine, a subject too little known, studied, or 
cared for, and one to which I would solicit the 
reader's most thoughtful attention, seeing that the 
welfare of our seamen as a class ought to be a matter 
of personal interest to every one belonging to this, 
the greatest maritime nation in the world, affecting 
as it does, directly or indirectly, almost every home in 
the kingdom and its dependencies. 

In exposing the system of kidnapping and Coolie 
traffic, I have confined myself to the recording of 
actual self-investigated facts, some of which may 
doubtless amuse the reader, while many more will 
serve to conduct the mind into a region of black- 
hearted inhumanity, leading it downward through a 
labyrinth of evil, until midway between man and 
demon it will be found (with pulse beating time to 
the deeds) asking in the measured tones of gathering 
astonishment, Ca7i such things be? 

With these few preliminary remarks I beg to hand 
it over, and would solicit at the same time the chari- 
table consideration of all to the many faults and 
failings to be found in the composition thereof 



Jlong Kong : Incidents which led me to take a voyage in a 

Coolie ship i — 14 

I obtain a passage ' ••• ••• ... ... ... ... ... 15—26 

We sail for Macao, our place of charter 27 — 40 

"We commei^ce embarking Coolies 4I'— 49 

Law for the expedition 50 — 63 

My voyage to Australia 64 — 76 

We discover signs of mutiny amongst the Ccolies 77 — qq 



Incidents during embarkation lOO— 112: 


We sail with over seven hundred souls on board, and discover a 

mutinous spirit amongst the crew 113 — 12S 


Our passage down the China Sea 129 — 141 


My voyage through the Mediterranean 142 — 14(> 


We arrive at Anger, and leave Java all well 150 — 163 


Kidnapping exposed , 164 — i8r 


A practical view of the British Mercantile Marine 182 — 205 


Contains the death of two notorious pirates 206 — 217 


The last of the criminals ^. , 2i£ — 236 



Hong Kong : Incidents which led to my taking a Voyage amongst 


As the incidents which led to my taking a voyage 
to Peru, amongst Coolies, are of a rather singular 
nature, it may afford some amusement to the passive 
reader to peruse an account of the little adventure, 
while the reflective mind will perceive in it one more 
instance of the vast influence the trifling occurrences 
of every-day life ofttimes have upon the subsequent 
career and character of many men. 

To this little incident and its attendants I attribute 
a salutary change in my mode of life, as it has beerr 
the means of eradicating an insatiable love of a 
roving, changing, and consequently a turbulent ex- 
istence, and brought me to feel and believe that 
man has infinitely more to live for than the mere 
gratification of animal desires and the pleasures of 
sense ; pleasures which, though plucked in every 
clime, amid all the luxury of wealth, leave the 
soul in search of TRUE HAPPINESS, echoing the 
hollow sound. It IS NOT IN ME. 

My time has been spent for many years past 



moving about the world searching for what might 
justly be termed twin phantoms to the Philosopher's 
Stone, namely, contentment and true happiness — 
creations of romance. True, it is our lot at times 
to feel a thrill of that heavenly essence even here, 
but, like the meteoric blaze, ere we have time to 
realize its existence it passes away ; we look anxiously 
around for a continuation of its celestial influence, and 
find all that remains of it is the closing shadow 
as it flies off" and is lost amid the wild confusion of a 
restless world, leaving the whole soul cast down by 
the saddening gloom of disappointment. 

I have chased those dazzling phantoms in many 
lands, and just four weeks ago noticed my arrival at 
Hong Kong, in hopes of finding in that romantic spot 
something to gratify (at least for a time) my restless 

Hong Kong, that most wonderful of all England's 
free colonies — now one of the largest emporiums in 
the China Sea — requires no descriptive efforts of mine, 
as the ground has, long ere now, been well trodden 
and graphically described by those immeasurably 
better qualified for such a task than one who has 
never made writing his study. I may, however, be 
permitted to remark in passing that the town itself — 
with its one long leading thoroughfare and many tri- 
butaries — had very few charms for me. 

It is with the beautiful bay that the above incidents 
are connected ; therefore with it I purpose for a mo- 
ment dealing, but not in a very lengthened descriptive 
manner, as the beauties of it, no doubt, have also been 
well portrayed, painted in all its loveliness, resting in 
the bosom of an archipelago of bold mountainous 
islands, whose summits ofttimes clothe themselves 
from sight, and shut their midnight grandeur in the 


Beautiful indeed the bay appears under ordinary 
circumstances, but in the calm moonlight night, when 
every object looking in the flood sees its shadow, de- 
scription fails : the scene must then be witnessed to 
be realized ; shut in as it is from the ocean on every 
side, its waters attain a placidity under these circum- 
stances which — mirror-like — reflects the slumbering 
patchwork of the sky in clear outline. 

But although thus sheltered from the ocean, it is 
not by any means protected at all times from the fury 
of the elements, for often does the typhoon pour its 
vengeance down upon the bay, and shake the mighty 
mirror m its frame until it reflects in fierce and torn 
heaps the wrath and fury of the flying storm. 

The bay presents in this aspect another phase of 
almost indescribable grandeur, and, but for the de- 
struction such visitors cause and the wreck of matter 
they leave behind, I could look back upon one — which 
occurred during my stay — with a pleasing remembrance 
as being one of the grandest sights I ever beheld ; 
looking on, of course, from a sheltered-verandah point 
of view. 

On the occasion of a typhoon approaching, the 
scene is worthy of description ; therefore, if such will 
interest or amuse the reader, let him kindly accompany 
me up the hill-side to some sheltered eminence, where 
we will seat ourselves in a commanding position, and 
having the field before us, together with a slight baro- 
metrical indication of a coming storm, we may, ere 
the sun goes down behind the western hills, make our- 
selves acquainted with the excitement on the bay con- 
sequent upon such occasions. 

Well seated, and the field in view, see what activity 
prevails in the harbour. All is life : loading, dis- 
charging, and transporting merchandise. 

The mighty mercantile heart of the city beats ; the 



pulses throb : the vital fluid is seen in every boat and 
barge. Circulation is rapid. Bales, bags, and barrels, 
coal, cotton, and other wares fly through the arteries, 
while thousands move in harmony around, feasting 
on, yet supplying their individual quota to, the 
general vitality. 

The whole surface of the harbour is alive with craft 
of all possible shapes, while the " sam-pans," as they 
are termed — Le., small boats for conveyance of pas- 
sengers — are sailing about briskly in every direction, 
making the most of a smart increasing breeze now 
blowing from the north-west ; and — if we may judge 
from their appearance — all are evidently unconscious 
that the white flying clouds above us have been shaken 
out of tlie north by the wild margin of the advancing 

The barometer is still " falling," as the seamen would 
say, and no doubt by this time many in the colony are 
anxiously watching the movements of the mercurial 

The clouds are changing, the sky is darkening over- 
head, the wind increases with squalls and rain, and, 
turning toward the windward horizon, we there behold 
unmistakable evidence that the young typhoon has 
been let loose to gather strength as it rolls, or tear 
itself to shreds amongst the hills. 

Quick as lightning the intelligence of a hurricane 
flies around the colony. Its fierce approach bids 
commerce cease, and stirs each one to battle for 

How changed is now the scene ! See the vessels in 
the bay, their yards already manned, the crew of each 
busily engaged in fastening the stowed sails more 
securely, lest the furious blast discover a solitary inch 
of loose canvas on which to open up a work of de- 


All is apparent confusion to the unpractised eye. 
The noise of extra anchors dropping here and there ; 
the rattling of a hundred cables heard above the 
breeze ; the light, small masts descending as if by- 
magic ; while yards are disappearing, we know not 

There are amongst the fleet a British ship of war 
and a smart American frigate. A few minutes ago 
they had everything aloft, looking defiance to all the 
hurricanes that ever blew, and the Celestial Empire to 
boot ; but now they appear more like hulks (with 
housed masts) laid up in ordinary ; one would almost 
imagine there had been some legerdemain practised in 
their case, seeing that the upper masts have disap- 
peared, yards gone, guns run in, ports all closed, while 
their very funnels have been partakers in the general 
transfiguration ; they also are lost to sight and to the 
elements, and none too soon, as the wild gathering 
fierceness of the windward sky denotes. 

Where now are the multitude of ** sam-pans " 
which, three quarters of an hour ago, were happily 
following their individual avocations t 

They are all out upon the bay : terror might be seen 
in every face as they bend to their oars with despera- 
tion, each one stretching with vigour toward the Kovv 
Loon or windward shore, where shelter \s found in a 
small protected portion of the bay, whence they do not 
emerge until well assured that all danger is past. 

A few minutes more, and not a solitary boat of any 
kind will be seen on the now troubled waters, nor at 
any of the landing-places at Hong Kong, while those 
belonging to Europeans are already hoisted up to the 
numerous davits which adorn the harbour wall. 

The cause of this speedy attention to the first inti- 
mation of a typhoon is that they come on with such 
rapidity at certain seasons of the year as leaves little 


or no time for preparation of any kind, and to be 
caught unprepared is sure to produce fatal conse- 

A case in point which occurred to myself illustrative 
of the above leads me into the incident referred to at 
the opening of this chapter. 

The afternoon was lovely ; barometer favourable — 
as a nautical friend observed — and a pleasant breeze 
from the north-west. I chartered a smart little cutter 
for a cruise on the bay, with a few convivials. It 
was got ready. We embarked with a buoyancy of 
spirits, created by the pleasantness of the weather, the 
freshness of the breeze, and the prospect of enjoying 
without interruption the contents of a well-filled and 
carefully selected hamper of necessaries. 

After a sailing inspection of the fleet, we steered for 
Kow Lung (or Kow Loon, as it is called), a narrow 
strip of coast territory ceded to the British by the con- 
vention of Pekin in 1861. On landing close to the 
government coal depot we were met by one of the 
storekeepers, and were conducted around the spacious 
grounds by him, an "old salt," who had served an 
honourable pension-period on board ships of the -royal 
navy, and who, to use his own expression, " hoped ere 
long to be feathering his oar in some green field of old 
England, or comfortably moored under lee of some 
spreading oak where there would just be current 
enough to prevent the grass and shells growing to his 
after run." 

One of our party, feeling amused at the volubility of 
the generous-looking old tar, asked him what we were 
to understand by the parable of the current, grass, 
shells, run, &c. 

'' I mean," said he, " that I may just have enough 
remunerative exercise to keep my old angle-irons from 
getting rusty, and my timbers free from the grass of 


indolence, by which, in conjunction with my pension, 
and what little I have scraped together during my 
service in China, I shall be able to prevent the shells of 
poverty growing to the after end of lifers voyage.'* 

"Excellent definition," said I, "and worthy of a 
British officer." 

By this time we had finished our survey, and on 
emerging from one of the stores we discovered that 
the wind had increased considerably, although nothing 
was visible to warrant serious apprehension. The 
weather was clear and bracing, while massive white 
clouds were careering high above our heads, lending 
an indescribable glory to the hills as their shadows 
chased each other in quick succession across their 
summits, relieved by the brilliant splendour of a western 

One of our party immediately proposed extending 
our ramble for a short distance on the rising ground. 

"Avast, gentlemen," said the old seaman, as he 
looked up, snuffed the air once or twice, and continued 
— '* If you will take the advice of an old sea-dog, I 
would advise you to get yourselves moored as soon as 
possible under the reflection of Hong Kong bricks 
and mortar, for, if my eyes don't deceive me, we shall 
have it hot and strong before sundown. Be advised, 
gentlemen," he concluded, "while your timbers are 
sound, and. don't be led astray by the appearance of 
those beautiful clouds with their typhoon-tarnished 

A young naval officer of our party asked him, with 
a sarcastic sneer, what his reasons were for such prog- 

" Young gentleman," he replied, " I can see it in the 
sun. The prognostications y as you call them, are there 
in all their blazing fury, and I would also tell yoti that 
you'll gather up the slack skin of that sarcastic face of 


yours before the night sets in if my advice be not taken 
to *bout ship for Hong Kong." 

Thinking there might be some truth in our old 
friend's remarks, we deemed it prudent at least to get 
into our boat and extend our cruise, and at the same 
time have a little refreshment. 

As soon as we got well off shore bottles and glasses 
were exhumed, corks drawn, and the beverage passed 

This was not destined to last long, however, for just 
as our sarcastic naval friend was about to sample the 
third bottle of champagne, after pledging the '^ jolly 
old sheir' we left on shore, a sudden gust of wind 
struck the boat, pitched our young friend on his " beam 
ends," while his foaming glass commenced, regardless 
of consequences, performing the circuit of my head ; 
and but for the cool presence of mind displayed by 
most of the party, the result of this sudden squall 
might have been serious indeed — at least to the non- 
swimmers, such as I unfortunately am. 

The boat being "righted," reefing down was our 
next operation, while our young sprig of Neptune lay 
groaning with (if not a fractured rib) at least the 
" slack skin " of his face gathered up into grim fan- 
tastical contortions. 

After single-reefing our sails, I cast a glance toward 
the peak of Hong Kong, and perceived that it was 
already enveloped by the cloudy heralds of the coming 

We forthwith close-reefed our canvas, and put about 
for the shore — the bay, by this time, swarming with 
boats of all kinds, containing l^he floating population, 
each one vigorously pulling for safety toward the 
windward side of the harbour. 

"See," said our young naval friend (who had re- 
covered, and was stretched along the stern-sheets, 


quietly surveying the scene), as he pointed to the fleet 
of terror-stricken rowers, " did you ever witness such a 
regatta of barking lunatics ? By the admiral's hat, it 
occurs to me there must be something seriously wrong, 
for, by Jove, those fellows have all gone mad ! I hope 
and trust the whole colony is not affected, for if so, 
there will doubtless follow a considerable multitude of 
heart-rending cases of hydrophobia. I say, doctor,'* 
he continued, turning to my friend Dr. F., of poetical 
memory, "you will in all probability have an ex- 
cellent opportunity afforded you for the display of 
your medical skill when you get ashore — that is to 
say, if you escape being bitten yourself on landing, 
for I have arrived at the conclusion that, the whole 

colony has decidedly gone . Hallo!" said he, 

stopping short, and looking to windward, " here comes 
a squall, with rain, and no waterproofs in the boat ; 
that is more than I signed for, anyhow, eh, doctor V 

" No doubt," replied the doctor ; " however, a few 
more years in the service of your country will tone 
down the apparent horror with which you seem to 
regard those atmospheric disturbances, and perhaps 
teach you at the same time to look upon the wild 
exertions of those whom you are pleased to designate 
'lunatics' as being, at such a moment, a life and 
death struggle. You, sir," he continued, " see and feel 
this simply to be a squall with rain, and yoiir only 
trouble is the absence of waterproofs ; while on the 
other hand, those rowers observe in it the wild out- 
riders of a gathering storm, discharging their watery 
tribute earthward in their flying career through the 
misty air ; experience has taught them that such signs 
as these, at this season of the year, herald the ap- 
proach of a typhoon, and their present trouble is the 
fear of being lost ere they reach the small bay of 
Kow Loon, where they are rowing to for shelter." 


A few minutes more elapsed, and one of our sails 
gave way, immediately followed by the mast coming 
down with a crash alongside ; after securing which, 
the crew applied to their oars, but the wind and sea 
by this time had rendered it a matter of impossibility 
to approach any of the landing-places at Hong Kong, 
or to pull up to the windward shore ; consequently, 
nothing remained for us but to take shelter on board 
the first ship we drove down to, on board which I 
observed an officer waving for us to come alongside, 
they having made preparation to receive us. 

Getting alongside and on board with considerable 
difficulty, we passed our cutter astern to await the 
result, and in the interim to receive such hospitality as 
the seaman alone knows so well how to tender with 
unaffected and spontaneous generosity. 

After refreshing ourselves in the saloon, we came 
on deck to survey the scene, which by this time had 
become abundantly suggestive of something far more 
terrible than an ordinary storm. 

The first object which attracted my attention on 
emerging from the " companion " was the enraptured 
expression of the doctor's countenance, gazing atten- 
tively at the mountain-top, with all the poetry of his 
nature beaming from his eyes. 

"You have grandeur in its wildest aspect before 
you now, doctor," said I, pointing to the dark cloud- 
encircled summit of Hong Kong. 

" Yes, Mr. D., grandeur indeed," he replied. " The 
peak of Hong Kong looks black as the vortex 
of a thunder-cloud, while surrounded by masses of 
hoary vapour, sweeping in fierce volumes around its 
craggy brow. And see," he continued, with rising 
enthusiasm, "how the whirling mass clings to the lee- 
ward side of the peak with all the desperation of 
reasoning spirits, until, startled by the windward pres- 


sure of the storm, it parts its hold in reluctant patches, 
and is immediately lost amongst the distant confusion 
of compounding clouds. Yes> Mr. D., this is indeed 
a scene I delight to behold ; but let us leave the 
cloud-covered mountain-top to the cool, stormy enjoy- 
ment of its vapour-bath, and cast our eyes over the 
heaving waters of the bay, where all is now wild 

" That is so,'* replied our young naval friend, drawing 
near, and imitating the doctor's style ; " commotion 
indeed, doctor ; and- 1 am prepared to affirm, that if 
there be any further increase of atmospheric madness, 
a few of those vessels which appear to be most power- 
fully affected will in a very short space of time com- 
mence throwing their arms around each other in 
destruction's deadly overture. What think you, cap- 
tain V he concluded, addressing the master of the 

" My opinion flows in much the same channel," was 
the reply ; " but, thank Providence and my owners, 
our ground-tackle is second to none in the fleet," 
casting, as he concluded, a significant glance at the 
surrounding ships. 

** That might be," resumed our young friend ; "but 
should that craft riding ahead of us get at all fatigued, 
and think of parting her cable, our ground-tackle 
would stand a very poor chance indeed were she dis- 
posed to take up a position athwart our hawse for in- 
stance : however, I don't think such is her present in- 
tention, for it appears to me by her rearing and 
plunging that she is practising for a submarine ex- 
ploring cruise. There she goes, head under, by Jove, 
wetting her locks preparatory to the final dive, 

" Sir," said the captain, who could not resist smiling, 
" I think such remarks rather unseasonable." 


**' Yes," said the doctor, chiming in, " so do I, sir ; 
and if our young friend had ever witnessed the devas- 
tation, death, and havoc often produced by these 
storms, the retrospective breathings of his mind — 
while recurring, it might be, to the horrors of but one 
hour — would serve to temper his wild, though some- 
what original, observations." 

*' Bravo, doctor ! poetical to the last," was our 
incorrigible young friend^s reply ; "and" be continued, 
*' you must become an author, doctor ; such lights as 
you possess hid under a bushel ought to be made a 
capital offence, to be tried by a court martial. Sup- 
pose you were to commence by producing a poetical 
synopsis of the incidents of this afternoon, for instance, 
and — 

** To dread measure set the war of elements, 
Destruction's deep, sepulchral notes, 
And semibreves of woe. 

What think you of that, doctor ? Not so bad for a 
youngster growing up under the shadow of the 
Articles of War, eh ? Of course, you will require to 
place me conspicuously in the foreground as the most 
amusing novelty of the piece, otherwise it will be de- 
cidedly incomplete." 

" My dear friend," replied the doctor with much 
good humour, "we might leave the elements out 
entirely, and find matter enough in the conspicuous 
novelty in the foreground for an epic poem." 

** What, doctor ? Serve this terrific grandeur with 
ejectment, and concentrate the elements in me for an 
epic } Could not be done, sir, I assure you. If the 
elements of the ' mess-room ' would suffice, those you 
might discover in developed abundance ; well spun, 
of excellent manufacture, pointed, and crowned." 

While the above conversation was going on, the 


captain and I were silently watching the fleet of 
vessels struggling against the fury of the tempest. 
One large ship especially claimed our attention, lying 
close to the Kow Loon shore. Her proportions ap- 
peared gigantic from where we stood, and her outlines 
of the finest build. She alone, as if conscious of her 
superior appearance and power, rode proudly immov- 
able to the fury of the blast. Turning to our captain, 
I inquired what ship it was. 

" That, sir," he replied, " is the clipper ship A , 

one of the finest sailing ships afloat ; she is destined 
for the Chinese slave-trade, alias Coolie traffic." 

Our naval friend immediately turned round and de- 
.clared such to be impossible, as he had observed the 
free and proud ensign of old England flying at her 
flagstaff this morning, and such trade was considered 
almost slavery by the British powers that be, and 
not permitted under the flag. 

" My dear sir," said the captain, " that amounts to 
nothing ; they will soon change her nationality, and 
that without much trouble : you will see some less 
scrupulous nation's colours waving over her stern be- 
fore long." 

*' How can you make such traffic slavery } " I in- 
quired, " as I have been informed that they are all 
shipped off voluntarily, and under a time agreement." 

" Well, sir, I believe there is some such farce as you 
refer to gone through ; but I am assured upon reliable 
authority that two-thirds of the poor things are decoyed 
from home and sold into the * barracoons,' after get- 
ting inside the gates of which the curtain drops over 
the victims." 

"Truly," said the doctor; " and the inquisitive eyes 
of the world fail to discover the coercive enormities 
committed within." 

" That is so," resumed the captain ; " in short," said 


he, " there is comparatively Httle known of the traffic 
beyond those immediately connected with it" 

Tea at this moment being announced, and the 
heaviest of the storm apparently blown over, we de- 
scended to partake once more of our worthy captain's 

After seating ourselves at the tea-table, I took occa- 
sion to ask him if it was possible to obtain a passage 
to Peru on board a Coolie ship, as I had arrived at 
the determination to try. 

" Possible, but highly improbable," was the reply ; 
" as they do not desire the particulars of the trade ex- 
posed, which assuredly would soon be the case were 
they to carry any European passengers." 

Having nothing particular to occupy my time, ex- 
cept moving about the world, my first thought was to 
try the possibility, at least, of getting a passage to 
Peru on board one of them. Being by nature fond of 
adventure, excitement, and change, this was an oppor- 
tunity not to be lost ; I accordingly resolved to leave 
nothing undone which would aid me in arriving at the 
fulfilment of my wishes. 

By 8 p.m. the storm (which the doctor declared 
was comparatively nothing in point of force and dura- 
tion) had subsided, and we were enabled to take our 
departure, with many expressions of thanks to Captain 
W. for his kind courtesy and generous hospitality. 

On reaching the shore, and before parting with our 
interesting naval friend, he expressed his unqualified 
satisfaction with the adventures of the day, while re- 
gretting, his inability to remain with us and wind up 
the evening amongst the startled natives of Hong 


I obtain a Passage. 

In pursuance of my resolution of making a voyage to 
Peru amongst Coolies, I visited a few ships in the 
harbour, fitting out for the trade, with the view of 
selecting, if possible, the best one for the trip. 

Amongst those I visited, none appeared to be so 
well adapted for comfort, accommodation, and speed, 

as the good ship A , referred to in the last chapter. 

I consequently procured an interview with the com-, 
mander. Captain B., who had the power to grant 
me a passage, and who at once acceded to my pro- 
posals, but not till he had warned me at length of the 
attendant dangers of the trade, enumerating several 
unpleasant probabilities. 

When, however, I informed him that the love of 
adventure and change was the sole cause which led 
me to desire the voyage, he seemed satisfied. But, as 
if a sudden thought had seized upon his mind, he 
turned upon me an inquiring gaze, and asked if I 
had any other object in view beyond the excitement of 
of a sea voyage on board a Coolie ship. 

Informing him in reply that, having no other way to 
occupy my time than by moving about the world from 
place to place, and being (as I was) tired of foreign 
travel, it was my intention to return to Europe via 
Panama and New York — a tour I had long wished 
to make j and as the excitement of a sea voyage had 
always a charm for me, giving vigour to the mind and 
health to the body, he would at once perceive that no 


other motive at present had induced me to solicit the 
voyage, trusting we might be fortunate enough to 
accomplish it without any of the unpleasant proba- 
bilities occurring which he had already enumerated. 

" There will be nothing omitted by me," he replied, 
" to bring about such a result ; and you will find," he 
continued, " when you go on board, that she is, with- 
out exception, as handsome a vessel as ever graced 
the waters of Hong Kong, and well suited for the 

After inquiring when I might go on board, I took 
leave of Captain B., his reply being that I might 
*' join " her when I pleased, adding that we should sail 
for Macao, our place of charter, in a very few days. 

Satisfied with my success, I proceeded to order a 
.few personal and creature comforts suitable for the 
voyage, intending to avail myself of Captain B.'s per- 
mission to "join" her when I pleased, by going on 
board the following morning. 

Next morning, however, my intentions were frus- 
trated by the inclemency of the weather, and while 
I was gloomily musing on this, in walked our friend 
the doctor, with a poetical " Good morning, Mr. D." 

" Not so good as I could have wished," said I, 
turning round in reply to the salute. 

" Why } What is the matter now, my dear fellow t 
You look as if you stood in urgent need of a cor- 
rective this morning. Out late last night, no doubt, 
amongst the ' sherry cobblers ' and * gin cocktails, or 
' brandy-smash'-ing it until small hours this morning, 
eh } Well, my dear pleasure-hunting friend, it must 
ere long end with you as it did with the * PREACHER ' 
of old, in your discovering it to be nothing but *vanit}' 
and vexation of spirit' " 

"To hear you holding forth, doctor, one would 
•magine you were aspiring to that position in the 


colony which was won and bestowed upon Socrate^s 
in Greece — * founder of moral philosophy.' Present 
your cup of morals to the stranger, my dear M.D., 
but do not pour my conduct from your phials, for I 
doubt not that you have been on the wing most of the 
night amongst the sons of Bacchus, or, what is in- 
finitely worse, endeavouring to kill a few suffering 

" Endeavouring to cure, my dear sir. Yes, an hour 
before daybreak. It was then dry weather, and a 
lovely morning ; but alas for you, my dear disap- 
pointed friend, the day — 

** Dawned in tears, and weeping clouds 
Arose from out the north. 
In torn and shattered heaps they rolled 
In wild confusion forth. 

At which hour you were asleep, I presume, Mr. D.,, 
and dreaming over the delights of a long sea voyage 
to Peru." 

** No, doctor ; say rather, I was dreaming you had 
become poet-laureate ; but what you have just now 
quoted — if it be your own — is a most meagre pro- 
duction ; such stuff as that will never procure you the 

" Extempore, my dear boy; entirely unpremeditated,. 
I assure you. However, I will revise it for you on the 
occasion of my next visit." 

" Really, doctor, one might honestly dub you a con- 
solidated lump of colonial kindness,^ 'pon my honour. 
Does it flow around the whole colony in such pro- 

" Can't say, Mr. D. I will make it my business to 
inquire for you, however ; but for the present, suffice 
it to know that it was to do you a service brought me 
here so early this morning," said the doctor, as he 
drew the morning paper from his pocket ; and^ uiir 



folding it with a pleasing twinkle in his eye, " A little 
piece of news, old fellow, nothing more/' he continued, 
seating himself and preparing to read. " Listen," 
said he : — 

" ^Mutiny of Chinese Coolies. 

" *A serious mutiny of Chinese emigrants broke out 

on board the M , which left Macao a few days ago, 

wherein the captain was killed, the ship taken by the 
mutineers, and again retaken by the crew, and put 
into one of the neighbouring China ports, where the 
leaders and organizers of the outbreak, twelve in 
number, were landed and despatched under the heads- 
man's axe. The ship proceeds in charge of the chief 

" Pleasing announcement, Mr. D., for one about to 
embark on board a Coolie ship, eh ? What think you 
of it ? But I must be off. I will leave the paper with 
you ; and should the weather clear up, as I think it 
may in the afternoon, give me a call.'* 

Pleasing announcement, indeed, I thought, as the 
doctor withdrew ; and I honestly confess the account 
did not in the smallest degree raise my courage at the 
prospect before me ; but, as Captain R, in his caution 
to me, mentioned mutiny as a probability amongst 
other dangers, I was compelled, by my own showing, 
to follow to the end what I had so eagerly solicited ; 
therefore, with this settled determination, I sat down 
to breakfast. 

The day passed, as wet days generally pass at Hong 
Kong or elsewhere in and about the tropics, and that 
is supremely miserable ; however, an hour or two 
before sunset, the wind having taken off and the rain 
ceased, we had the pleasure of a glorious cool evening, 
inviting in loveliness to an airing beyond the suburbs 
of the town ; consequently I took myself off in a 


" sedan," to visit the doctor, according to promise, and 
then to any other place he might choose to suggest. 
Meeting our medical friend on the way, he imme- 
diately proposed a visit to the race-course and cemetery, 
places I had not yet seen. 

"What!" cries the reader, in surprise (who is ac- 
quainted with the locality), ** four weeks in Hong 
Kong, and a stranger to ' Happy Valley V " 

It is even so, however ; but now I will endeavour 
to give you a description of the delightful spot ; at 
least, I will record the effect produced upon my own 
mind, ere I roll it back amongst an oblivious multitude 
of first impressions. 

On our way out we were fortunate enough to over- 
take Captain B. and several more on the same journey. 

Coming up to the captain with a "good afternoon," 
the following conversation occupied us during our 
run out. 

" Delightful evening after the rain, Mr. D. Have 
you seen to-day's paper V 

" Yes, captain, and read therein an account of a 
serious mutiny of Chinese Coolies at sea, which re- 
sulted in the murder of the captain, and taking the 
ship for a time from the crew. You of course knew 
the deceased commander, Captain B. V 

" Simply knew him, nothing more. An excellent 
man, I believe, but very severe." 

" It requires not a little severity in such a trade as 
that, I presume, sir.?" 

" It is a dangerous traffic, Mr. D., and I would again 
advise you to forego the hazard of prosecuting the 
intended voyage with me. I know not your mental 
constitution, but I do assure you I have failed to 
di3cover what there will -be in the " expedition to 
afford you the smallest amusement. Although 
it is my present intention to make the voyage as 



pleasant as possible, by providing largely for the 
amusement of all on board, both crew and pas- 
sengers, still I cannot see anything in it which is at 
all likely to make it a pleasant trip for you. You 
must not think by these remarks,*' he continued, 
** that I wish you not to go the voyage^ as the reverse 
of this is the case : I should rather be pleased with 
your society than otherwise, but I consider it my duty, 
nevertheless, to enforce the serious consideration of 
the matter upon you, seeing that, as a friend of mine, 
your life will be in greater peril in the event of an 
outbreak amongst the Coolies. I am only sorry I 
cannot give you a knowledge of the trade and voyage 
from practical experience ; then you might be able to 
judge from unconjectured facts." 

" I understood you had been several voyages in the 
trade, Captain B. ?" 

" No, sir, I have not, which raises the risk. Nof 
would I be now but for circumstances arising over 
which I had no immediate control ; however, it is so 
far satisfactory to know that I have undertaken to 
command this expedition with the understanding that 
the treatment of the Coolies shall be in accordance 
with my own ideas ; as I have long been impressed 
with the belief that, on board such ships, they are 
too frequently treated more like cattle than human 
beings possessed of souls, however black in sin they 
may be. 

** You must understand," he resumed, " that the 
captains of all such vessels are, as a rule, provided 
with verbal or written instructions to the effect that a 
small proportion only of the Coolies be permitted on 
deck at one time, during which the others are kept 
like prisoners stifling in the hold below. This pre- 
caution — be it remembered — may in the use be good, 
but in the abuse (which, arising from fear, is frequently 


the case) it is little short of manslaughter. So now, 
Mr. D., you perceive that I purpose making a few 
hazardous experiments during the voyage which may 
enhance the danger. Now that I have told you this, 
you will be able to inform me, after a little reflection, 
whether you would find any pleasure in witnessing 
those experiments while sharing the dangers with me. 
You will think over it to-night, and you being master 
of your own movements, I will take to-morrow's 
decision as final." 

Such candour I thought can only proceed from 
one possessed of a SOUL, or from a desire not to have 
me on board at all. Believing it to spring from the 
former, I at once expressed my unaltered determi- 
nation to proceed on the voyage with him if he had 
no individual objections. 

" None whatever, sir," was the laconic reply. 

" And now," he resumed, " I may tell you that, I 
am like yourself en route for England, and as you 
have resolved on making the voyage with me, we may 
be fellow-passengers throughout the round." 

By this time we had turned the brow of a hill, and 
were descending into " Happy Valley." 

A few minutes more found us in the bosom of that 
delightful retreat, rounding the last corner of the road, 
on the left of which as we advanced lay the racecourse, 
a beautiful level plot and worthy the "turfites" of 
the colony, with its railings and grand stand com- 
plete ; while on the right stretched the walls of the 
cemetery encircling what had once been (according to 
our friend the doctor) "wild runners on the rugged 
course of human woes." 

I confess, the all but holy tranquillity pervading 
every nook of this sequestered Eden drew me from 
myself Faint aspirations fluttered from the callous 
soul, and as they spread their hallowed wings, I felt 


this pleasure-hunting heart of mine was not yet dead 
to all which lifts the man above the brute. 

Would that I could carry such a scene as that for 
ever in my mind ! 

" Happy Valley ! " indeed, although one might 
justly term it the Valley of Extremes^ for here around 
its sunny sides are often met strange and striking 
contrasts. It claims the stirring contest of the "turf* 
when every heart beats wild with life and vigour, 
while eager eyes are following their particular 
" favourite " around the course. The city's dead are 
also here, with mourners for the loved ones buried 
there, contrasting sadly with the merry laugh and 
happy picnic jest echoing across its silent surface. 
Numbers are here who closed their career in blood, 
fighting for the honour and glory of their country. 
Peace to their ashes I And many an ocean child lies 
covered beneath its green sward, uncared-for — I had 
almost said. But no, that cannot be ; for, could the 
spiritual essence of humanity be seen, many might be 
found from far-off zones hovering around this cover- 
ing of a thousand tender ties, and in their midnight 
vigils be seen scattering garlands over the loved-ones* 
distant graves. Conceive, my friend, the gathering of 
those dreamy voyagers from every clime : here a 
mother's spirit breathing a mournful requiem over the 
grave of her once promising boy, and the warrior's 
widow weeping by the tomb of her murdered hero ; a 
little farther on we might behold a fond parent re- 
joicing at the recovery of her long-lost only child, 
while sisters' visionary spirits unnumbered are sailing 
through the midnight air, or in their dreamy wander- 
ings, moving about among the tombs in company 
with their brothers of the past, brought back from an 
eternity by that eternal midnight imagery of man 
which thunders the existence of a God. 


I was here recalled to a knowledge of the fact that 
I was not travelling alone, by the doctor inquiring 
ivhere I had been. 

** Where have I been, doctor ?" 

" Yes, Mr. D., for you certainly have not been with 
us for some time past Your clay has been mechani- 
cally beating time to our movements ; but where have 
you been yourself, sir V 

" Well, doctor, I have this time to confess to a train 
of serious reflections ; something new to me, you will 
say ; however, be that as it may, I have just now been 
gathering the dreaming kindred of the neighbouring 
dead together, and placing them amongst yonder 
broken pillars and moss-covered stones, where I have 
left them amid their joys and sorrows, until they shall 
awake to find 'tis but a vision. How do you account 
for dreams, doctor } " 

" We are told that it is simply the working of the 
waking faculties, and nothing more." 

" Such being my own belief, doctor, I have often 
asked myself the question : What about those dreams 
which unfold scenes the mind of man could scarce 
conceive : majestic wonders witnessed in a flash ; 
scenes more glorious than heaven itself, if such could 
be ; again more black and terrible than hell twice 
told } Anon, a something we cannot describe descends 
upon us in the night and ravishes the soul ; we sleep 
it out in calm and glowing ecstasy, and wake almost 
to grieve that we are still alive. Are these, I would 
like to know, the product of the waking faculties and 
nothing more.? It seems to me a tame way of 
shelving, what often appears to me, a link between 
Divinity and man.*' 

" Dreams, Mr. D., I consider are mostly produced, 
and are tmged by the nature of irregularities in the 
life and habits of the dreamer." 


"Then, doctor, if I must judge of my habits by the 
colouring of my dreams, they must be black indeed, as 
I am often entertained with a dance of demons around 
my couch for their special and, I suppose, spiritual 

"And, Mr. D., I will undertalce to tell you that such 
is the result of your devotions to Bacchus, instead of 
to your God, the evening before." 

" Well, perhaps so, doctor, but let us drop the sub- 
ject, for the present at least, and I will promise to 
think the matter over at some future time." 

By this time we had walked around the race-course 
and were entering for a stroll amongst the tombs. As 
we entered the gates of the cemetery I observed a look 
of sadness gathering over the captain's face, which led 
me to conclude that something more than curiosity or 
pleasure had brought him here. We walked on a 
little way in silence, when, • coming up to an un- 
assuming gravestone, he said, pointing to the mound 
of earth, " Gentlemen, one who was a very dear 
friend of mine lies there ; 'tis two years since she 

This was delivered with such deep feeling as told 
us that, beneath his storm-beaten chest, a large and 
warm heart held sway under the guidance of a sound 
mind. We stood for a moment in profound silence, 
while the captain appeared reaching into eternity for 
one more glance, if possible^ at the spirit of one who 
must have been a friend indeed. At length, with a 
deep heave of the lungs, he raised his eyes, and 
remarked that, as the sun was getting low, it would be 
advisable to retrace our steps and get into town before 
darkness overtook us, seeing that as daring robberies 
of gentlemen had recently occurred in the streets of 
Hong Kong at high noon, so much more probably 
would they occur in the suburbs after dark. " There- 


fore, gentlemen," he continued, " you will see the 
propriety of not leading any such highwaymen into 
temptation or danger, as an attack upon us would 
doubtless result in bloodshed." 

Acting upon the captain's suggestion we moved 
slowly away from (what the doctor in a poetical 
effusion went on to denominate) — 

*• The silent throne of the dead, 
The jjreen sward of the tombs, 
And covering of a thousand ." 

" Yes,*' said I, stopping him abruptly, " and 
almost from a thousand lands has your cemetery been 

" Truly," mused the doctor. " I believe," said he, 
" that— 

*' Men from erery land lie there, 
Of every tongue and name ; 
Wealth, poverty, and wretchedness, 
Obscurity and fame. •' 

" You appear to have taken a poetical turn, doctor 
has the sight of a charnel-house always that effect 
upon your mind ? " 

" Invariably, Mr. D., and I frequently indulge, like 
Hervey, in * Meditations among the Tomba' " 

"Perhaps, like the author you quote, you intend 
launching your meditations upon the world, in the 
hope of ultimately obtaining an illustrious position in 
Poet's Comer at Westminster Abbey, for of course 
your meditations will be poetical." 

" Mr. D., if you had cultivated a little more of that 
poetry you were indulging in not very long ago it 
would hayp enabled you to have enjoyed your travels 
more fully than (by your own showing) you have 
hitherto done." 

" All right, doctor ; I daresay my visit to * Happy 


Valley ' may yet be productive of good. Still, 
one cannot always live in a graveyard, you know." 

" No, Mr. D., nor on a race-course, although we 
ought to carry about with us the lessons such places 
are admirably fitted to convey to the reflective mind, 
and not live as you have been 'doing — 

** On the hardened prose of human life, 
In your peregrinations round the globe 
Searching for happiness." 

" Really, doctor, you decidedly improve upon 
acquaintance. When you present your effusions to 
the world please dedicate a short poem to me ; make 
it short, bear in mind, for I sicken over epics as over a 
prosy dinner party." 

" I hope you do not intend turning sick over your 
dinner this evening, Mr. D., where you will be the 
principal guest ; did the danger exist, I might be in 
attendance with emetics, lancets, smelling-bottles, 
stomach-pumps, &c." 

" You are ever thoughtful, doctor, but I would as 
soon think of swallowing a young cobra as the suction 
hose of your stomach-pump. Once under that opera- 
tion is sufficient for a life." 

" Very good in its way, JMr. D." 

" Then I will keep out of its way in future, 

Having by this time arrived at the clock-tower, 
opposite the post-office, we parted with Captain B., 
and proceeded to prepare for our evening engage- 


1 embark — We sail for Macao. 

The following afternoon at four found me alongside 

of the A . On reaching the gangway I was met 

by the chief officer, whom (as he is likely to figure 
conspicuously in this narrative) it may not be out of 
keeping to describe. 

Mr. N., like Captain B., is a native of North 
Britain : in .height about five feet ten inches, well 
developed withal, and looking fierce as a wild winter's 
morning through an immense growth of ill-looking 
fair hair, whiskers, and moustache ; an officer courteous 
and resolute ; a stern disciplinarian, with a rigid atten- 
tion to the duties of the ship under his charge ; add to 
these an education- and intelligence above the average 
of his class and a three years' experience amongst the 
Chinese, then you will admit that a more suitable 
officer could not have been selected for the trade. He 
will also be understood to illustrate by his conversa- 
tion the general feeling and regard for the poor 
Coolies which prevail amongst those engaged in the 
vile traffic. 

Handing my card to him with a " good afternoon," 
he scanned me and my card at a glance, and, return- 
ing the salute, said, " I have been informed of your 
coming, Mr. D., and will now show you into the saloon, 
where you may select your berth." 

On entering the cabin I was struck with the excel- 
lence of the accommodation, and remarking upon them 
to the chief officer, his reply was — 


" Yes, sir, there will be nothing lacking here to make 
the passage agreeable except the presence of music and 
a few intellectual associates of both sexes, Mr. D." 

" Such as we are not likely to have this voyage, Mr. N." 

" Truly, sir, and you will no doubt feel their absence 
more keenly than we shall ; however, if you are fond 
of studying character in others, you will have enough 
of interest to engage your attention amongst the 
Chinese passengers, where you will find human nature 
exhibited in many phases, from the crude angularity 
of unhewn ignorance to the more polished productions 
of the intellectual chisel," placing, as he concluded, 
wine and cigars before me, with a request to " help 
myself," which I did, and, lighting our cigars, we went 
on deck to " have a look round," and while doing so I 
will endeavour to give you a description. 

The noble-looking vessel is of American build, 1,500 
tons register. In length 250 feet, with a fine depth 
and breadth of beam, and, as Mr. N. emphatically pro- 
nounces, '* the fastest ship afloat, and no mistake." " I 
have seen her," he continued, " doing her thirteen and 
fourteen knots an hour, with a whole sail quarterly 
wind, and not making so much noise as a bruisewater 
going three." 

" Bruisewater, Mr. N. > " 

" Yes, sir, bruisewater ; that is one of those boxes of 
antediluvian conception, built by the mile ; cut off into 
ship lengths, ends plugged up, and despatched to 
smash up the world of waters." 

Her adaptation for carrying passengers is of the first 
order, having been built for that purpose only two 
years prior to our becoming acquainted, and conse- 
quently provided with more than ordinary height in 
between decks, together with admirable side and deck 

An immense topgallant forecastle is fitted up as a 



hospital to accommodate comfortably twenty-six sick 
and wounded, together with doctors and nurses. 

A large, roomy house fills the space between the 
fore and main hatches, laid out in divisions, the after 
section being the ship's cooking compartment, con- 
taining also a five-horse-power engine, with patent 
condensing apparatus complete, capable of producing 
200 gallons a day of twelve hours at a cost of three 
farthings per gallon — rather costly water, you will say 
— still invaluable in case of need. 

The second division is the passengers' cooking 
apartment, fitted up to cook for a thousand men. 

The third and fourth sections comprise the car- 
penter's workshop and sail-room. 

" Admirably arranged," you say, " but what about 
the crew ? Where are you to stow them when they 
make their appearance 1 " 

The crew, fifty-six ** all told," when on board, must 
take up their abode in the fore cabin, behind an 
eight-feet-high barricade of strong iron bars with 
spiked tops, which is to be erected a few feet forward 
of the poop front ; but as it is not yet before us we 
must reserve the description until from ocular demon- 
stration we can clearly delineate its appearance. In 
the meantime let us act upon Mr. N.'s suggestion to 
visit the hold, where, no doubt, he will be good enough to 
tell us what we, unassisted, might not be able to discover. 

" Splendid between decks," said I, on getting below. 
" Quite a barracks in point of magnitude." 

" Yes, sir, no two ways about that. Two hundred 
and forty odd feet long and about nine feet in height ; 
room enough here for the Coolies to kick their pins 
about, Mr. D." 

"That, I suppose, will entirely depend upon the 
number you purpose taking. How many are you 
fitting up for } " 



" About 7CX), sir/' 

" The lower hold appears to me almost full already, 
Mr. N. I cannot see where you are to stow the pro- 
visions for so many." 

" Provisions, sir .'* Why, there is in that hold now 
over 500 tons of stone ballast, 400 tons of water, 200 
tons of provisions and cargo — yes, sir, and room enough 
left to stow away the barren peak of Hong Kong or 
supplies for a fleet — fact, I assure you, sir. I only 
wish all our precious supplies were on board, and let 
us off to Macao." 

" Do you know anything whatever about the Coolie 
trade, Mr. N. } You seem anxious to get into the heat 
of it." 

" Oh, yes, sir, I have been in the trade before, but 
under the British Coolie emigration laws." 

** Are the fittings under the British regulations any 
better than they are here t " 

" Much the same, sir, only the lower tier of Coolies 
generally bunk it out on deck in short voyages instead 
of sleeping on an elevated platform as they will do 
here ; such is the only difference." 

** Which of the systems do you consider the best and 
most conducive to the health of the passenger } " 

" Bunks, sir, without doubt — that is to say, if they 
are fitted as ours are, eighteen inches from the lower 
deck — because when the wretches sleep on deck-the 
cold night damp of the tropics strikes down the 
hatches and spreads bang over them, instead of 
settling under the poor beggars in some measure. I 
have known deaths occur from this deck-sleeping 
system before now. First cold, next fever, followed by 
dysentery, and finished by death and the sailmaker." 

" If sleeping on deck leads to such fatal results, I 
must endorse your opinion, and believe that the bunk 
system is the best." 


" There are no two opinions about that, Mr. D. It 
certainly costs a trifle more for fittings, and a little 
extra trouble cleaning out under them, but that I con- 
sider ought to be the very last consideration when the 
life of any animal is at stake ; even a poor Coolie." 

The said bunks for the emigrants consist of two 
rows of shelves running the whole length of the ship 
both sides, as well as (in our case) down the centre. 

These shelves are six feet wide, with an eight-inch 
foot-board secured to the outside to prevent them slip- 
ping off. 

After the shelves and foot-boards are completed, 
the next operation is to measure and number each bed- 
place, allowing to each man a breadth — out of the 
length — of from twenty to twenty-four inches, the 
latter being the legal allowance, but it would appear 
they are not over particular in this matter, as they 
seldom exceed twenty-one inches. 

There is no kind of division between the sleepers — 
in short, each shelf simply represented one hundred 
and fifty in a bed. Given to the inhabitants of each 
bed an immense crown-tail of long hair, and an in- 
stinctive horror of cleanliness, then perhaps you will 
admit that a more prolific field for generating phreno- 
logical blimp-wanderers never before existed ; and 
when I add to these a consequent array of jumping 
night-agitators y together with sundry detachments of 
grazing flat-backs y I feel myself alive, and as I live 
and move, I ask the serious question if it will be eimi 
"amongst the possibilities to keep down such a hungry 
army ? Leaving them — in all conscience — the benefit 
of a doubt, the reader will be enabled to form an ap- 
proximate idea of the care necessary to keep such 
ships clean and healthy. 

" How long before you finish the fittings, Mr. 
N. } " 


" In four days, or the contractor forfeits fifty dollars 
each day thereafter." 

At the expiration of the above time we found our- 
selves ready to start for Macao, a pleasant sort of 
place, not many hours distant from Hong Kong by 

On the evening of the fifth day the vessel was 
ready, and the negotiations concerning the changing 
of the ship's nationality having been completed, we 
hoisted the ensign of another land, weighed anchor, 
and started in tow of a steamer. 

By 4 p.m. we cleared Green Island, the boundary of 
British waters on that side of the harbour, the weather 
at the time being anything but propitious. Squalls 
of wind and drizzling rain were the parting favours we 
had from Hong Kong as we set a portion of our sails 
to aid the tug. 

As night closed in the weather became wilder, in 
conjunction with darkness so profound as to obscure 
all of the little steamer ahead, except the occasional 
blazing funnel top and light at the mast-head, and 
even those were but dimly visible flickering through 
the gloom. 

" What do you think of the night } " I asked the 
captain, who stood silently watching the gathering 

" Darkness thick enough to cut," was the ominous 

" Is there any danger of a storm, Captain B. } " 

" This, I believe," said he, ** is the effect of violent 
atmospheric disturbance seaward of these islands ; 
the * glass ' has fallen considerably, but it is difficult, 
as yet, to form a precise opinion. Lightning, eh } 
Clue up the topsails and take in all sail," was the 
immediate command, "and stow them securely, Mr. 
N.," said the captain to the mate ; then turning 



to me he asked if I had yet been in the vicinity of a 

" Yes," I repHed, " twice." 

"They are rather frequent at this season of the 
year, Mr. D., and amongst those islands very irregular 
in their movements, which increases the danger, seeing 
we have no approximate guide to aid us in determining 
their course." 

At this moment a vivid sheet of flame illumined the 
heavens, and shook out of me the exclamation. 
Fierce lightning, captain ! " 

To the inexperienced eye, Mr. D., while the sea- 
men who have passed thoughtfully through many such 
scenes see in lightning of that class an assurance of 
the storm's direction, and that, it is passing away from 
us, seaward : the * glass ' has been wavering, but now 
it is steady, and inclined to rise, while a perceptible 
improvement is already apparent in the weather, and 
less wind." 

" Will you continue in tow if the weather remains 
as at present, Captain B. } " 

" If my suspicions are correct, Mr. D., it will be 
impossible. I anticipate, ere long, meeting with a 
heavy swell setting in from sea ; and should such 
prove to be the case, the steamer has not the power, 
nor our hawser the strength to hang us ; therefore, we 
shall be compelled to go in and anchor for the night, 
as I don't think it would be prudent to shake out our 
canvas a^nd proceed under existing circumstances." 

Soon the wind moderated, and the weather cleared 
up, and we were just calculating the probability of 
being able to continue in tow, when the ponderous 
hulk gave a rise and quiet plunge into a head sea, 
which almost tossed the man at the wheel off his feet. 
Scarcely had we time to realize the commotion ere 
our tow-line (a rather old twelve-inch hawser) parted 



midway between the steamer and the ship ; fortunately 
the wind was already moderate around us, but (to me 
wondrous phenomenon) the distant groans of a tempest 
were distinctly heard above the noise of many voices 
passing another tow-rope on board the tug, after which 
we towed in and anchored for the night. When all 
was snug, and anchor watch set with an officer in 
charge of the deck, I took occasion to ask the cap- 
tain if he had ever heard the sound of a distant storm 
before, without feeling its influence, such as we had 
just been listening to. 

" Once, Mr. D., when a youth," he replied, and 
continued ; " we were short of provisions and had 
been on a biscuit a day for fourteen days. The night 
of the occurrence was starvingly calm and clear, and 
every eye was occasionally seen wistfully looking toward 
that quarter whence our empty stomachs looked for 
salvation in a fair wind. At two in the morning it was 
my turn at the wheel, on taking hold of which I 
breathed a hungry prayer for a westerly wind. Half- 
an-hour thereafter a small dark cloud, no bigger than 
a man's hand, made its appearance in the western sky. 
It grew, sir, and as it swelled its windy sides, our 
cadaverous jaws broke forth in tunes of thankfulness, 
for at this time all the bread remaining was only three 
pounds, and we were full twenty-six hours' sail from 
where we were bound for supplies. This western saviour, 
however, rose slowly from the flood ; by three o'clock 
it was — what sailors term — * mast-head high.' Still 
calm. At 3.30 a.m. a soft echo was heard trembling 
through the air, sounding in our ears like the voice of 
angels. * What sound is that ? * said the officer in 
charge to his junior standing near. 

" * It is like the sound of wind,' was the reply. 

" ' The sooner we have it the better then,' said he, 
* or we shall have to draw lots for Death before long.' 


" It was not long ere the faint echoes swelled out 
into a roar, and so delighted was the commanding 
officer that to reduce sail as a precautionary measure 
-was not thought of, until its effects became visible on 
the bursting surface of the sea, rolling on with the 
roar of thunder, or like the rushing din of assembling 
worlds ! It was then too late. * Let go everything,' 
he at length screamed, and it was a ' let fly! 

" Over us it swept like a lightning flash, carrying 
with it our whole suit of sails, at the same time driving 
us along nine knots an hour under bare poles; nor shall 
I soon forget the appearance of the terrified commander 
(startled from his first sleep) leaping up on deck with 
terror visible in every hair, each one showing with 
straightforward emphasis its individual reluctance to 
lean upon its neighbour. 

"The fierce aspect of that wild, unconstitutional 
head, Mr. D., is only equalled by the general features 
of this night. I cannot acc6unt," he continued, ** for 
the unusual sounds to-night in any other way than by 
believing them to have been produced by the passage 
of the well-defined storm's edge over the leeward 
islands ; nothing is more reasonable than to infer that 
it was a few parting groans being played off upon the 
craggy summit of the last mountain. For you must 
know," he resumed, ** that the rear margin of hurri- 
canes is often so well defined as to produce such 
phenomena as we have heard to night." 

" Referring to the shortness of provisions in the 
case you have just quoted, captain, I thought such 
occurrences almost unknown in these days." 

" So it is, Mr. D., but the circumstance to which I 
allude occurred sixteen years ago, and on board a 
vessel dating back to an era when our ideas of naval 
architecture required the round ends taken off, 
or in other wcwds sharpening up a little. That 

D 2 


memorable winter," he concluded, " is painfully 
remembered in many places of Britain still." 

At dawn the following morning we were again in 
tow, and reached our destination early in the day. 

After anchoring the captain went on shore, and as 
he said a few days might elapse ere his return, we will 
in the interim continue our description of the further 
preparations for the voyage. 

Next morning a staff of native carpenters were 
alongside at an early hour, their work being first to 
cut out three of the main deck planks, at given 
distances, the whole length of the deck, and to pro- 
vide such holes with strong surroundings, and a cover 
to move on brass hinges, elevated eight inches from 
the deck, and made perfectly water-tight ; and further- 
more, to run an iron bar through the centre of all such 
holes, strong enough to prevent egress to the Coolies 
in case of mutiny. Secondly, to put two enormous 
bell-mouthed ventilators through the poop, and two 
through the forecastle decks, together with two large 
pipes at each end of the 'tween decks, for the purpose 
of carrying off rapidly the foul air from below. Add 
to these three large and two small maindeck hatches, 
and thirty-two side ports, then you must admit that 
the ventilating measures were perfection itself 

Being pressed for time, as per charter, there was 
none lost in driving the work to completion, and so 
well was it conducted that, by the time our captain 
made his next appearance, we were in a fit state to 
receive our passengers. 

" Glad we are done wid thim rice-jamin*, chopstick 
buildin' clod-hoppers," said the boatswain, with a rich 
Hibernian accent, as the last of the carpenters dis- 
appeared from the gangway going on shore. " Bad 
luck to the spalpeens, sur," said he, " but the devil 
save the clain has there been on board since the furst 


night they slep here, and made their shavin' shake- 
down out ov their own durty mess. Ah, sur/* he 
continued, '* ship carpenters and pigs — gad bless the 
latter — just give thim plinty ov chips and shavin's and 
they are at all times delighted ; wid the furst, it's 
because it represints work done, don't you see, sur? 
and wid the latter because it presints a fine field 
whereon a small taste more might convainently be 
effected. You understand me, sur ? " 

" Yes, boatswain, but we could not get along so very 
well without them." 

" Sure your right, sur. It's always the same. We 
don't know the value ov a thing till we wants it, or 
loses it, as they say." 

" Or until we stand in need of it, boatswain." 

" That's what I main, sur." 

" Stand by a rope for the boat," was heard at this 
moment from the oflScer at the gangway. 

It was the captain coming alongside. On reaching 
the deck, and looking round, he seemed pleased, and 
congratulated the chief officer upon the speedy 
accomplishment of the work. 

"And well it is so," he concluded, "as on Saturday 
we shall receive our first shipment of Coolies, fifty in 

" Mr. N.," he resumed (and handing the mate a 
roll of papers), " these are the laws and regulations of 
which I spoke some time since ; you will kindly give 
them your most thoughtful attention in the perusal. 
I have drawn them up with care, nor do I believe any- 
thing has been omitted necessary for the general 
welfare and success of the expedition. If, however, 
after a careful perusal, you can suggest any improve- 
ment in them I shall be pleased to listen to you. 
Amongst those papers," he continued, " you will find 
the laws appertaining to the Coolies collectively ; you 


will cause them to be translated by the interpreter, 
and legibly drawn out in Chinese characters, and hung 
on boards in the 'tween decks, where all may read, 
and thereby know, what is expected from them." 

I might notice here, as a curious fact, that there are 
very few of even the lowest order of Chinamen who 
cannot read ; a fact which might lead more advanced 
nations to inquire by what means they arrive at such 
a knowledge of their language, composed as it \s of 
unbounded monosyllabic difficulties. 

"You will find,'* continued the captain, "written 
instructions for coolie-master, doctors, and interpreters ; 
and you will please acquaint them verbally, when 
handing them their respective copies, that I shall 
expect the most rigid attention to them." 

The closing remark struck me as being that of one 
accustomed to implicit obedience, while the eyes and 
turn of the speaker's mouth unmistakably announced 
that any breach of the said laws would be summarily 
dealt with, let the offender be officer, seaman, or 

" Well, Mr. D.," said he, turning to me, "what think 
you of the ship's appearance now ? " 

" Rather formidable," I replied. 

**You are not now so much enraptured with the 
prospects opening out as you were ten days ago I 
presume, sir } " 

"True, Captain B., nevertheless, startling as is the 
tieveloped completion of your preparations, it will not 
now shake my resolution to meet those prospects, 
were they even rolled up in mutiny and strife." 

" Good, Mr. D., but now you will be pleased to learn 
that all those formidable measures are simply meant 
as timely precautions, which I trust will accomplish 
much more by their terrible appearance than I care to 
effect by a sweeping use of them," pointing as he 


concluded to a double stand of arms and boarding 
pikes in and around the pilot-house on the poop. 
" And," he resumed, turning to the mounted artillery, 
" the use of those carriage drones is a most remote 
probability, unless to awaken the echoes of some ice 
island in the Southern Ocean, should we chance to 
meet any." 

" Does the chance then exist. Captain B. } " 

" It is probable at this season of the year." 

" I shall enjoy the sight if we do, never yet having 

seen one." 

" May you be gratified, Mr. D. ; the sight is some- 
times a glorious one ; they are, however, very 
dangerous articles to get amongst at sea during the 
night. Many a gallant ship and crew have laid their 
bones beneath those frozen tear-drops of the pole in 
the darkness, and the next account of them is found 
amongst the gazetted list of MissiNG Ships." 

"Well, Captain B., as I have no special desire to 
gravitate around the sunken base of an icy mountain, 
may we have the pleasure of such a sight by day when 
no danger exists." 

" Not till darkness returns, Mr. D., then the danger 
again follows, for like the ills of life they are seldom 
met with rolling about alone, in fact they sometimes 
cover whole regions." 

" However, the knowledge of their local presence 
mitigates the danger. Captain B." 

" True, sir, and may you get a sight of one at high 
noon, in all its glittering splendour, rolling down from 
the south, adorning the bosom of a heavy southern swell." 

Nothing occurred until Saturday worthy of notice, 
except reports, reaching us from the surrounding ships, 
of Coolies jumping overboard to escape, and losing their 
lives in vain attempts to save them, or if not being 
caught and punished as deserters. 


Those trifling occurrences, together with sundry 
projected mutinies discovered, were the pleasing 
horrors which daily reached our ears. 

And now that I have an appointment on shore I 
must leave you for the present, and return with the 
Coolies on Saturday morning, bringing with me 
whatever I can learn respecting the barracoons, or 
" man-traps" as they are termed by the natives. 


We commence embarking our Coolies. 

On Saturday morning a friend conducted me through 
one of the barracoons, which I found to be a large, 
commodious, county-jail-looking structure. 

At first sight of the building, this structural idea 
presented itself, supported and strengthened by the 
thoughts of " man's inhumanity to man," and the cap- 
tured human beings within, whence, after they enter, 
no communication whatever with the outer world is 
permitted : once inside the gates, and all is over with 
the poor deluded creatures ; what remains for them, 
when thus separated from all they may value on earth, 
is simply to do as they are directed by the powers 
within, who use fair speeches, false promises, harsh 
threats, or the lash, as the case may require, to bring 
about this result. 

After an inspection of this "man-trap," I had the 
satisfaction of witnessing two companies of twenty- 
five each preparing for embarkation, under the super- 
vision of Europeans — men of mighty consequence, of 

After being duly arranged in two divisions, they 
were marched down to the landing-place, where junks 
awaited to convey them to our ship. 

Having seen them embark and set sail, I started in 
a swift " sam-pan," in order to be present when they 
came on board — our distance from the shore being 
about four miles and a-half. 


About noon the junks arrived, and the operation of 
getting their living cargo on board was the next per- 
formance, which is effected thus : — 

The junk is moored by the gangway, in the open 
hold of which the Coolies are all packed together, 
most of them looking as if about to enter a living 
tomb, while one here and another there might be seen 
with the appearance of outraged fiends, resolved to be 
avenged or die in the attempt. 

As soon as the junk i3 moored, the said Coolies are 
very unceremoniously walked, or rather dragged on 
board — some of them, perhaps, expostulating against 
going on board at all, while others are crying, and in 
another quarter might be seen one boldly disputing 
the matter, even to resistance ; but it is now too late. 
If the cane does not drive them on board, and the 
gangway-ladder is too narrow for the operation of 
dragging, a rope is thrown from the ship, and no 
alternative remains but to walk quietly along, or he 
will forthwith be hoisted up like any other bale of 

Now that we have got them all on board, the next 
act in the drama is to arrange them on the poop or 
quarter-deck for {nude) inspection, each one carrying 
with him a square trunk, a trifle larger than a good- 
sized shaving-box, together with a ponderous bag, 
almost as big as an old bachelor's night-cap, while 
around their necks, or suspended from the waist, is a 
small piece of flat bamboo-cane or ticket. 

On each of the above articles is the number of that 
portion of the bed-shelf allotted to the bearer, whereon 
the said shaving-box, chest, or basket of compart- 
ments, or whatever you choose to term it, together 
with the night-cap previously alluded to, are deposited, 
and where, with box at the foot and sack at the head 
of the bed, he can stretch himself between, and close 


his eyes over his destiny, while breathing a muffled 
curse upon those who brought him there. 

Before returning to witness their inspection, permit 
me to inform the reader that the above-named travel- 
ling commodities comprise their respective outfits for 
the voyage, valued about twelve shillings sterling per 
head, night-cap and shaving-box included ; the latter 
article the Coolie himself must provide, by a deduction 
of half-a-doUar from his miserable advance of pay. 

We will now witness their examination, which has 
a twofold purpose. 

It is done under the supervision of the first doctor 
and chief officer — the former functionary being em- 
ployed to decide that each bag of living bones is 
sound in every comer, and free from contagious dis- 
ease, while the latter is watching that no knives or 
iron implements of any description be hid about their 
persons, to the endangering of their own lives, or the 
lives of those around them ; and also to see that no 
opium be secreted under their arms or about their 
garments, the unrestrained use of which is considered 
highly injurious to the physical system. 

While the above is going on, the contents of the 
memorable boxes and night-caps are being shaken 
out on deck, and passing under the inspection of 
another officer, aided by members of the crew, for the 
purpose of detecting opium, opium-pipes, lamps, and 
iron weapons — the most formidable of the latter 
generally being no larger than a good-sized tooth- 
pick ; however, all must be taken away, lest the poor 
creatures dream them into swords and ploughshares, 
and attempt to regain their liberty. 

This performance finished, they are handed over 
to the interpreter and Coolie-master, who introduces 
them to their respective bed-boards, whereon they 
may dream of mutiny, destruction, and death, or the 


land they are going to, for all that any one here 
appears to care ; in fact, judging from the officers and 
crew around me, it seems a matter of supreme in- 
difference what may follow ; I conclude it is with 
them as with many more, viz., " sufficient for the day 
is the evil thereof." 

I can already imagine some impatient reader 
asking, Why not introduce us first to the system of 
kidnapping the individual } Present us with the 
ways and means by which the Coolies are caught. 
Show us the bill of sale of the animal, and receipt for 
his carcase, &c. 

To such inquiries I can only reply, All in good 
time. I purpose that these sad matters be brought 
before you during the voyage, in the plain unvarnished 
disclosures of a few of the most intelligent and edu- 
cated victims themselves ; therefore we will possess 
ourselves in patience, while in the meantime we re- 
turn and examine the fifty we have already possession 
of, and see how they are enjoying their new quarters. 

It is Monday morning. The ship has just been 
cleaned down, and most of our Mongolian friends are 
amusing themselves by dashing water over each other, 
after having jcrubbed themselves tolerably well. 

This is called bathing by the interpreter, who is 
moving about amongst them with the air of half-a- 
dozen "Selkirks," cane in hand, inspecting a head 
here, a leg there, and an arm somewhere else, in order 
to satisfy himself that all has been done which salt 
water and elbow-grease can possibly effect. 

The younger members of the flock appear to enjoy 
the sport amazingly, while a few of their elder brethren 
are frowning significantly over their high cheek-bones 
with a smothered wildness impossible to conceive. 

Bathing finished by eight bells — />., 8 a.m. — break- 
fast follows ; and as the system of feeding 700 Coolies 


on board ship during a long sea voyage may be in- 
teresting to some, I will endeavour to ^\wt^ a descrip- 
tion of the means brought to bear for the maintenance 
of order and regularity in this all-important operation. 

According to the number of passengers, so is the 
number, depth, and capacity of the enormous rice- 
boilers required for cooking, each boiler in our case 
supplying food for fifty — the concomitant et ccetera, 
such as eggs, fish, beef, vegetables, &c., are prepared 
in smaller pots, placed upon round (portable) clay fire- 

To each of the above smelting-pot-looking boilers a 
cook is appointed from amongst the Coolies, many of 
them being skilful in matters of cuisine. 

Those cooks at 5.30 every morning carry from the 
hold provisions for the day under the inspection of 
the third officer, whose duty it is to look after the 
stores, and render an account of them when called 
upon to do so at any time during the voyage. 

While this is being done, another gang under the 
fourth officer, are told off to pump the day's supply 
of water from below into tanks fixed upon deck for 
that purpose : this done, nothing more is heard of 
the cooks until about fifteen minutes before breakfast, 
when, in and around the cook-house, are to be seen 
cooks and assistants passing rapidly from hand to 
hand " rice-baskets " and tin plates with the et caetera. 

Those " rice-baskets " and plates (one of each) 
when filled represent food for ten, and prior to the 
meal, are placed along the deck on each side the cook- 
house ; when the bell sounds the feeding hour, the 
caterers for each mess of ten assemble to answer to 
their respective numbers, and as the chief cook calls 
out 10, 20, 30, &c. the bearer of the mess-number 
steps from amongst the crowd, picks up the nearest 
basket and plate, and disappears with a hungry rush 


to place them in the centre of the ravenous ten, who, 
with the aid of small earthenware dishes and bamboo 
chopsticks make the rice disappear with a dexterity 
truly amazing. I may here remark that, in well-found 
ships the rice is served out in liberal quantity, and in 
our case the same quality as we use at the saloon 
table ; this, however, is quite an exception, they being 
more frequently supplied with rice little better than 
the paddy given to horses in India, and which is 
believed to be, on many occasions, the principal cause 
of mutiny when accompanied by unjust and harsh 

The reader will now perceive that the feeding of 
several hundreds on the above system is attended with 
no difficulty or disorder. 

Having served out the breakfast we will now return 
to the barricade and iron hatch gratings, the description 
of which could not be given at Hong Kong owing to 
their non-existence, but which are now fitted and 
standing out in all their metallic firmness, exceedingly 
suggestive of dungeons by daylight, or a floating 
menagerie for wild beasts. 

The spiked iron barricade (eight feet in height) 
stands out in ominous relief ten feet from the poop 
front, ornamented with four pieces of artillery behind, 
which betoken the illegitimacy of the traffic ; other- 
wise the sad necessity of guns with grape and canister 
would not exist ; while ruminating on this sad neces- 
sity, the mind recoils from the ideas such appearances 
create with a freezing horror, when it finds the guns 
placed so as to pick out any human being from the 
remotest corner of the main deck. 

The barricade stretches from rail to rail of the bul- 
warks, rendering it a matter of impossibility, in case 
of mutiny, for the mutineers to scale it in the face of 
ordinary resistance behind ; and so firmly is it stayed 


to the deck with bolts and ^bars that no combined 
force of men on board could bear it down. On each 
side a gate is fitted, and close to them are two gun 
ports through which as many " sixteen-pounders " are 
sternly surveying the inhabitants of the ship, while 
two more are frowning gloomily from the front of the 
p)oop deck, looking over the barricade through a 
sweeping charge of grape shot You will perceive by 
these arrangements that, in the event of a determined 
uprising of the Coolies, instantaneous death and havoc 
are ever at hand embowelled within those deadly 
demonstrators, requiring but the fiery touch of an 
oflficer*s cigar to the fuse to hurl into eternity, in an 
instant, a whole hecatomb of human beings. 

The gratings of the hatches are composed of strong 
crossed bars of stout iron, with openings for ingress 
and egress. Over each hatch rain cloths are fitted, so 
that, in wet and stormy weather, by drawing them 
over and lacing down the sides, it does away with 
the necessity of putting the hatches on — always 
bearing in mind that I am describing a large com- 
modious vessel — for often on board of small ships where 
the hatches must, of necessity, be put on for the 
safety of all, cholera and fever with all their atten- 
dant ocean-horrors often assail the wretched and putrid 

I have visited, not one but, several such "coal- 
scuttles," on board of which I dare not embark my 
sow, where the " Cruelty to Animals Act " might be 
in force ; knowing this fact, dear reader, you will cease 
to wonder at the frequent mutinies of Coolies, but will 
ask those tender-hearted white men^ dealers in human 
bones, why they charter such miserable rafts of rotten- 
ness and stench to carry the highest order of animal 
yet discovered. 

Do not, I pray thee, think for a moment that I am 


drawing upon the imagination, for language fails to 
depict the horrors experienced on board such "boxes " 
dubbed with the name of ships. 

An acquaintance of my own here, who had command 
of one of those " rattle-traps " for one voyage only 
(during a continuation of bad weather which he 
unfortunately encountered) declared it to be nothing 
but a den of death. The first few days he was 
registering the dead by fives then by tens until " My 
God!" said he, "I buried two hundred and thirty 

Awful idea ! Pestilence rampant in a " box " at sea 
amongst living hundreds ; nor did the dead march 
cease, in the above instance, until but twenty were 
left to shudder over death's ghastly dance of fourteen 

And now, believing you have pardoned this deadly 
digression, we will retreat from such chamel pits, and, 
crawling out from under the water-proof covering of 
our own main hatch, continue our description. 

The hatches communicating with the provisions in 
the hold are encircled with trunks of strong iron bars 
securely fastened to both decks so as to protect the 
said provisions from embezzlement by the passengers ; 
and also in the case of insurrection breaking out in the 
between-decks, an armed force can take up a position 
inside those strong iron cages, and demand that quiet- 
ness be restored, or shoot down any who dare dis- 

At the opening of the main hatch gratings a guard 
is placed, a second is stationed at the open gate of the 
barricade, a third is walking the forecastle, and a 
quartermaster commands the poop, their duties being 
to keep order and quietness amongst the Coolies 
while moving about the deck. And now, dear reader, 
as the description of the vessel is almost completed, 


together with the system of embarking and feeding 
the Coolies, I purpose after a little relaxation present- 
ing you with the code of laws as written by our 
captain for the regulation and guidance of all under 
his charge : laws which cannot fail to recommend 
themselves when examined from a Coolie-emigration 
point of view. 



Contains the Laws for all on board. 

In giving the reader a copy of the laws and regula- 
tions, I feel that I dare not add to, take from, per- 
sonally improve, or embellish the same (were I 
presumptuous enough to believe myself capable of 
doing so), seeing they served all the purposes for 
which they were intended so very admirably. Conse- 
quently you will consider Captain B. speaking for 
himself pro tern. 

Instructions for the Chief Officer, 

1st. Keep your ship scrupulously clean, so that the 
crew and passengers may have tHe force of example, 
combined with precept. 

2nd. Let even-handed and impartial justice mark ^ 
your administrations in my absence ; should any 
breach of the law be committed, punish on the 
individual accusation of none, save that of the officer 
connected with the department wherein the offence 
was committed ; and even then you are requested to 
exercise your judgment as to the veracity of the 

3rd. Should complaints be made by one against 
another of the Coolies, let the accused and accuser be 
brought together in your presence, producing witnesses 
to prove the case true or false. Having the deposed 
evidence before you, and the individual found guilty 
of the crime imputed to him, you will cause to be 
reported to the assembled passengers the nature of the 


offence of which you have found him guilty ; having 
done so, you will take the culprit to the gratings and 
administer with the " cats " such punishment as the 
case in your judgment merits — not to exceed one dozen 
— and you will at all times give the prisoner the benefit 
of doubt and extenuating circumstances. 

4th. Should any serious crime be committed in my 
absence, place the perpetrator of the same under arrest, 
to be dealt with by myself. 

5 th. Have a special care that the Coolies be not 
abused by members of the crew, as is too often the 

6th. Curtail not any indulgence without strong 
reason, treating the Coolie at all times as yoMX fellow- 
man (which, unfortunately, is seldom the case) ; and for 
the present you will permit them, from sunrise till 
7 p.m., to have the liberty of moving about the ship 
in any number, but not abaft the mainmast. 

7th. You will be good enough to see that your 
subordinate officers' instructions be followed out to the 

Instructions for the Coolies, 

1st. Every Coolie to bathe at least once a day, 
weather and health permitting. 

2nd. Clothes to be washed once a week — viz., 

3rd. No spitting allowed upon either deck, save into 
the spittoons provided for that purpose. 

Crimes punisJiable with tJie Lash, 
Perjury ... ... ... ... ^-dozen 

JL IJld L ... ... •*• .*• X. ,, 

Illegal Gambling ... ... i „ 

Fighting ... ... ... ... \ „ 

Depositing Filth on 'tween Decks | „ 

Smoking below i „ 



N.B. — hxiy Coolie or Coolies discovered conspiring 
to mutiny shall, when found guilty, be punished with 
the cats not exceeding four dozen, and afterwards be 
handcuffed and chained to the ringbolts of the deck 
during the master's pleasure. 

Instructions for the Coolie Master. 

1st. See that the laws for the passengers be not 
broken with impunity. 

2nd. Any Coolie taken sick to be removed forth- 
with to the hospital, and handed over to the doctor on 

3rd. All sleeping-places to be cleaned out once a 
week — viz., Saturday. 

4th. Fumigate the 'tween decks and use liberally 
your disinfecting fluid twice weekly — Tuesdays and 

5 th. Stone the 'tween deck with dry sand every 
morning, and on Saturday with wet swabs, followed 
by dumb scrapers. 

6th. Night-lamps — seven in number— will be kept 
well trimmed during the night, and the key of them 
given into custody of the guard at the main hatch. 

7th. At 4 a.m. every morning turn all on deck, 
weather permitting, and commence your cleaning 
operations, in order to have all finished in good time 
before breakfast. 

To the Doctors and Interpreters, 

One each of you will be required for day diity, the 
other two for night service. 

When on duty you will continue moving about 
amongst the passengers attending to their respective 
wants ; and should any of you be discovered taking 
or receiving moneys from any of the Coolies, or selling 
opium or other articles amongst them, the money so 


obtained shall be forfeited, together with the remainder 
of such articles as may be found in possession of the 
vendor. Each and all such forfeitures to be distributed 
amongst the passengers. 

To the Guard, 

1st. Guard will be changed with the "watch" every 
four hours. When on duty it will be your business to 
keep order amongst the Coolies ; you will have seven 
constables in each watch to aid you in this matter. 

2nd. You will not permit any washing, shaving, or 
combing of hair about the deck, except at the place 
assigned for that purpose forward. 

3rd. You will study to keep the emigrants at all times 
clear of the working of the ship ; fifty will be told off 
daily to assist in the duties on board, the same being 
provided with tickets, each to be worn around their 
necks or where best seen, in order to distinguish them 
from those not on duty ; and should any of them be 
arrested with such ticket hid about their person, you 
will provide the said person with a spittoon to be worn 
instead during the remainder of that day, for the con- 
venience of his fellow-passengers. 

4th. During the time between sunset and sunrise 
attention will be paid to the striking of the bell 
every half-hour, and the wa^hword " All's well " be 
repeated by each of the guard on duty, in order to 
assure the officer in charge and the inhabitants of the, 
hold that a vigilant and watchful eye is ever over 
their welfare. 

5th. Pay great attention to your night-lamps and 
give the key of them to iioney save to the officer in 
charge of the deck. You are also requested to report 
any ill-usage of the Coolies by members of the crew, 
that the offender may be immediately brought to 
account for the good of all. 


Now that Captain B. has finished with us, we must 
have our chief officer's opinion of the rules. 

" What think you of the laws, Mr. N. ? " 

" All first class, I consider, except the all-on-deck- 
at-a-time clause ; that I don't believe in by any means. 
Just imagine, Mr. D., all those black-hearted cut- 
throats on deck at one time — six or seven hundred 
bloodthirsty vagabonds moving around us, and going- 
down the China Sea, too ; by the beard of Nep- 
tune, sir, it is a mighty big risk, and no two ways 
about it." 

" Do you think so } " 

"I should rather think I did, sir. Why, Mr. D., 
such indulgences were never heard of since heaven 
and earth together sat and hatched their mighty 
Pwankoo ; no, sir, never was known before in the 
whole history of the cursed trade." 

" Then you consider there will be danger in granting- 
them that privilege V 

" I do, sir, emphatically ; but the captain seems to- 
have the whole course of his procedure predetermined, 
and he knows as well as I do that, should any dis- 
turbance break out amongst the demons, he will be 
the first man despatched ; then they will considerately 
pop me off and have it all their own way, as per usual 
in matters of that kind." 

"But you do not anticipate ever seeing them all 
on deck at once, Mr. N } " 

"I don't know so much about that either, sir; I 
can see a danger at the very outset." 

"In what does it consist V 

"When we are ready for sea, for instance, and 
getting under way, they will all crowd up to watch 
the land as it sinks in the widening distance." 

" Very natural, Mr. N. You surely would not de- 
prive them of that last sad look, nor of the fond 


associations such is calculated to inspire, would 

"That is just the very thing I would deprive them 
of, sir. That last fond look, with its bygone associa- 
tions, often awakens the very devil in the head and 
heart of one-half of them, and the resylts of such an 
awakening might be serious indeed." 

" Quite true, Mr. N., but long ere that time arrives 
you will have the most of them pretty well trained 
and organized, I should suppose, seeing you will be 
over two months collecting your full complement." 

" Well, there is certainly something in that, Mr. D. ; 
we shall be all of two months picking up our crowd ; 
there are so many Coolie ships about just now — no less 
than twelve in this harbour alone, bespattered about as 
if ashamed of their vile profession, *pon my honour." 

" Plenty of work for the kidnapper in consequence, 
Mr. N." 

" Yes, by thunder — making their fortunes." 

" What do they get per head t " 

"From fifteen to thirty dollars, according to the 
class of animal." 

"What class of men are generally found in the 
ranks of the kidnapper t " 

" Ruined gamblers, as a rule. Lovers of opium. 
Men of good address and presentable appearance, and 
pretty wideawake cards they must be, otherwise they 
would soon find themselves packed off along with the 
very Coolies they had kidnapped." 

" There is a great risk attending such a life, Mr. 
N. ? " 

" It is all risk, sir ; always cruising around under 
the reflection of the headsman's axe, the sound of 
which must be ever tinkling at their cursed consciences. 
Not so long ago I was at Canton when a batch of the 
long-tailed thieves were brought up for execution. 


The Chinese authorities give them very little trial, 
you must know, before they march them off to the 
slaughter-yard, range them in two tiers, one opposite 
the other, with their heads fixed upon chopping 
blocks, after which the headsman shoulders his 
weapon and rolls along between the victims. At each 
swing of his unsympathizing carcase he lops off a nut, 
first one side and then the other, and with such pre- 
cision does he strike that each head leaps bang from 
the trunk into eternity, holding on to nothing but its 

" One would think such summary punishment would 
put a stop to the nefarious traffic, Mr. N. V 

" Well, yes ; one might imsigine so, Mr. D., until 
one learns that such a thing as human sympathy is 
almost unknown in this land of tail -cultivating 
heathens ; when we bear that in mind, we are better 
able to understand it, sir. There is literally no value 
set upon human bones here, not even when the ties of 
kindred are strong, as that of a parent. I have known 
mothers dispose of their own offspring, and was myself 
once asked by one at Shanghai if I would purchase 
one of her little brats, 'pon my honour, sir. I asked 
what she wanted for him, and why she wished to sell 
the boy ; the answer was that she had more than she 
could provide for, and I could have the little coon for 
a few dollars. I must tell you, Mr. D., that they never 
like parting with their male children ; it is indeed 
hard times with them when they resort to that ; but 
the female child is little thought of." 

" I fail to see anything particularly terrible in the 
poor woman's request, Mr. N. You must admit that 
it would prove more strongly a mother's love and 
affection even, to sell her starving offspring (to a 
British subject), which she could not support, than to 
watch the poor things crawling onward to a premature 


^ ■■ .^■■■■. ■■■ I i* ■ ■ ■ I . Ill I ■ .—^ , ■ ■■ ■■— I ■■ ■ ■■ » -^ - - ■ ■ 1 ■■ , ■!■■ . 

death by starvation, especially in a place where 
charity is a stranger, and provision for the needy poor 
a thing unknown. There is infinitely more of a 
mother's love in that than is displayed in yonder little 
foundling, picked up from — where it had been left 
perhaps to die ! or in that mother's (waking) dreams 
who rolls once round,VILE MURDERESS, and blots 
the tender relic put The morning dawns, and this 
distracted woman raves, * Fve lost my child ; my little 
darling's dead.' The tragic scene would not be com- 
plete without this exhibition of maternal woe, although 
no grief is there. Infanticide is smothering her soul, 
and working up those tears of terror from their in- 
human source ; but it is not love. No, no. 'Tis the 
affection of that well-paid, heartless hag, wending her 
murderous way along some dark embankment, with 
bundle in her hand. She pauses, looks stealthily 
around, then starts. 'Tis but a spasiHy caused by the 
sound of that deadly plunge of one more little mes- 
senger despatched to register the mother's deed in 
heaven. Such, Mr. N., is one of the modes adopted 
to get rid of superfluous children in Christian Europe." 

"True, Mr. D., I believe there is much more of 
that sort of work done than ever reaches the light 
of day." 

" Returning to Shanghai, Mr. N., did you purchase 
the child?" 

" I could not see my way altogether clear to do 
that, Mr. D., seeing that Mrs. N. has just been a little 
overgenerous in that line herself Eight sir, all told, 
at home, which is much more than I bargained to 
navigate through this wild world of ours. It would 
be all very well, don't you see, sir .? if the mothers 
would just keep within the margin of a fellow's means 
in that small way ; but there, it's no use grumbling, I 
suppose, over these coiisicmptive facts : all I hope is, 


that each little fact is alive and well, and able to con- 
sume a crust — God bless their little hearts, and the 
mother's too!" 

" About the China woman, Mr. N. ; how did you 
settle matters with her ?" 

" I found upon inquiry that kinless widowhood and 
extreme poverty were the combined causes of leading 
her to dispose of her child ; so I just gave her a couple 
of 'Mexicans' (all I could spare), and told her to stick 
to the little roundhead as long as she lived. At this 
the poor woman seemed quite overcome, and made an 
effort to lay her head at my feet in thanks ; but not 
permitting her to do that, she took hold of the ' wee 
bairny,* and made it return thanks with its little 
* bladder of lard ' at my feet ; while doing so, the big 
tears of gratitude were rolling over the woman's high 
cheek-bones, as with a mother's love she watched the 
movements of her child. 

" * There,' said I, at length, * be off, there's a good 
girl, or you'll precious soon have me blubbering also ;* 
and really, Mr. D., it was a scene more affecting than 
I ever believed could have taken place in this accursed 
land, where handsome women can be bought for sixty, 
and youngsters for six dollars a-head. 

"Ardent affection, Mr. D., is not by any means a 
characteristic feature of the race, you must know, and 
when a fellow does drop across it, why it tickles his 
better nature in some degree, you will admit .«*" 

*' Quite true, Mr. N., it draws our finer feelings to 
the surface, and wins our sympathies at once." 

" Talking about the purchase of women and chil- 
dren, Mr. D., recalls to my mind a most amusing in- 
cident which occurred with an acquaintance of mine 
from the Emerald Isle, who commanded a Siamese 
vessel, and who, prior to leaving China, purchased a 
woman for sixty dollars, to act in the capacity of 



stewardess and * maid of all work.' On reaching 
Bangkok, Captain M., of course, went on shore to enter 
his vessel inwards, and during his absence the precious 
woman managed to slip on shore also, and entered 
herself at the British Consulate as his purchased slave. 
The consul thereupon summoned him to appear in 
answer to the charge, which I will give you in their 
own dialogue, as handed to me by the captain himself 
a few days after : — 

Consul: Captain M., is this woman your property } 
Captain M. : Be dad, an* she's that same, sur. 
. ^^ Consul: Am I to understand that you bought her 
outright, like a bale of merchandise } 

" Captain M. : You'll just be mindin' sur, that I 
paid sixty Mexicans for that same, bad luck to the lie 
I'm tellin' ye, and she's not worth half the money, an' 
so she isn't ; can neither sew a button on, nor wash 
a rag. 

" Consul : But you seem not to be aware of the fact 
that a British subject must not hold possession of a 
slave ? 

" Captain M, : Then be the powers, scratch me clain 
off the British books, if ye plaise ; I'm no longer a 
British subject ; I'll just claim the protection of the 
country I'm servin*, if that's to be the way ov it. Yes, 
swear alagience to his hathen majesty of Siam. 

" Consul : Then you will cease appealing to me in 
your troubles with the Siamese. In the meantime I 
release this woman, and caution you respecting such 
conduct in future. 

" Captain M. : Holy St. Patrick ! my sixty dollars 
gone for nothing ; bad luck to the she-devil, but I'll 
murther her outright, if I lay hoult upon her, the 
desateful spalpeen o' blazes, that she is." 

" I presume the latter part was rendered as an 
* aside ' by the captain, Mr. N. T 


" I don't know so much about that either. He 
was a most eccentric, but genuine, good fellow. By 
his eccentricities and generosity he was known 
wherever he went. A sober man also, and a most 
successful shipmaster." 

" To return amongst our Coolies, Mr. N., when will 
you receive another shipment of them ?" 

" Their shipping days are Wednesdays and Satur- 
days ; we shall have sixty more off on Wednesday ; but 
some weeks when the thieves are idle or unsuccessful 
we may not get any." 

" So I understand. I suppose you will soon com- 
mence selecting from amongst them those constables 
you spoke to me about some time ago ?" 

"There is one on the list already, sir. I intend 
having one out of every fifty, or about fourteen in all. 
Would you like to see the one already enrolled, Mr. 
D. } He is quite a curiosity ; strutting about with 
the air of a Mongolian potentate. See, here he comes 
with his canvas belt over his shoulder, and No. I 
painted thereon ; and do you see the cane in his 
hand t He is more proud of that staff of office than 
a marshal is of his baton." 

" Have you found such men trustworthy, as a rule, 
Mr. N. r 

" Oh, pretty fair when well ^chosen. In choosing 
them you must look for an honest face." 

"Quite an undertaking for a Chinese physiog-r 
nomist, I should suppose." 

" You are right in that, sir ; however, when you 
fancy you have discovered the before-mentioned 
feature, single out the possessor of it, and make him 
believe that j/^//, at leasts consider him a person worthy 
of more than ordinary notice ; impress upon him the 
fact that you choose him from amongst his fellows as 
a superior sort of being, and one who ought to be 


treated as such ; but at the same time, don't neglect 
for a moment to watch him like a hawk would a small 
bird, until you have proved him well ; and when you 
favour him with a look at any time either of dis- 
approval or approbation, you must never fail to look 
bang into him, so that the precious wretch may feel 
you are examining his very heart ; that is the only 
way, Mr. D. ; the most of them are much like the rest 
of the lower animals, they cannot stand the gaze of 


"You count them down every night, Mr, N. What 
are your reasons for so doing V* 

" Reasons, sir .^ Why, don*t you remember hearing 
of two or three jumping overboard, or rather dropping 
quietly over the side of that * box * riding ahead of us 
the other night, and getting drowned, or making good 
their escape in some of the junks which happened 
then and there to be passing, and of two more from 
that craft on our starboard quarter v/ho were not so 
fortunate, having been picked up clinging to another 
ship's cable like half-drowned rats V 

"When they are counted down therefore, such 
desertions are discovered in time, and steps taken 
immediately for their capture ; and when caught they 
are soundly flogged for bathing after dark ; but wait 
a wee, Mr. D., and you will find amongst our own 
crowd many with like propensities." 

" Do you not think, Mr. N., that any vessel picking 
up such runaways could easily keep them, it being — 
to my eye — almost a matter of impossibility to 
identify one from the other of them .?" 

" True, sir, if there was not a little honour amongst 
thieves. Still it is occasionally done by the un- 
scrupulous, who stick to all they catch, and sell them 
on their own account. And as to their general like- 
ness to each other, I can only say, as a witness in a 


case at Hong Kong once said to the judge, when a 
similar question arose, * They have all got tails, your 
worship/ Respecting their general likeness, Mr. D., 
with their meaningless goggle-eyes and faces all over 
their heads, that will wear off upon better acquaintance. 
I thought just as you do now when I first came 
amongst them." 

" But, Mr. N., you do not consider that nature has 
diversified the human face here as in most other 
countries, do you ?" 

"No, sir, I do not. I have often thought that 
' Yin Yang,' or whoever determined their facial ex- 
pression, resolved to bestow quantity, without regard 
to quality or diversity ; such at least characterizes the 
whole race ; a race, by the way, which I don't like 
prowling about the ship after dark, and I don't care 
how soon it is time to pipe them below ; I always 
like to have my eyes upon the villains by daylight." 

" I must confess to the same feeling, Mr. N. When 
are you to introduce the piping down at an earlier 
hour r 

" When we have a more formidable force to handle 
I suppose, sir." 

" Or a projected mutiny startles you to a sense of 
the necessity, eh .^" 

" You might stake your existence on the production 
of some such sport when the next crowd arrives ; for 
whenever a hundred or two of those Mongolian 
blocks get rubbing together, mutinous sparks are just 
as sure to be the result of the friction, as a match to 
the exploding of a well-laid mine ; nor will it be long, 
I fear, before the infernal brood take wing and light 
upon our heads, or recoil upon their own with 
awakened vengeance." 

" It is to be hoped otherwise, Mr. N. ; however, 
should such occur, I am disposed to believe Captain 


B. capable of acting with success in an emergency of 
the kind." 

'* You are right there, sir. God has bestowed on 
him more than ordinary self-possession and coolness 
in emergencies, for which the possessor ought never 
to cease giving thanks. Captain B. has this so largely 
developed as to admirably fit him for such an expe- 
dition as this ; and now, Mr. D., we will pipe the reptiles 
below, and as you are remaining on board to-night, 
perhaps you will fulfil an almost forgotten promise to 
describe your first voyage to the colonies and its 
disastrous consequences." 

" Most willingly, Mr. N." 


My Voyage to Australia and its Consequences. 

As our Coolies are disposed of for the night, and 
nothing else claims our immediate attention, the 
reader is invited to accompany me in the fulfilment of 
my promise to Mr. N., who is attentively awaiting the 
commencement of my story, descriptive of my first 
voyage from London to the Colonies on board a very 
fine iron clipper ship, the counterpart of our present 
one in general outline. 

It was a beautiful Sunday in May, i8 — ; just at 
that hour when the houses of God were sending forth 
their morning worshippers, we found ourselves at the 
dock gates and the sailors passing the tow-rope on 
board a powerful " tug " engaged to tow us as far as 
Beachy Head. 

Around us on the shore stood numerous sightseers 
and weeping friends, through whose minds, no doubt, 
revolved many an anxious thought for the safety of 
the loved ones who from duty, necessity, or pleasure, 
were thus about to leave their native land. 

The seamen — to their credit be it recorded — ^were 
sober almost to a man, and the passengers moving 
about me appeared full of that lively hope which be- 
speaks the imperishable enterprise peculiar to the 
whole Anglo-Saxon race. 

I ft the faces of a few as we passed down the river 
could be seen those voluminous looks, the meaning of 
which encyclopaedias cannot unfold, but which the 
sensitive heart alone can feel as it casts up the last 


fond reflections the Sunday quiet of an English home- 
stead produces as it passes, it may be for ever, from 
our sight. 

We had little time, however, for such reflections ere 
we reached Gravesend, where we parted with those 
who came down the river with us, while continuing 
our course. 

Next morning we were off* Beachy Head, where 
the steamer cast us upon our own resources, the 
weather at the time being all that could be desired. 

Soon we got matters into nautical order, and were 
conjecturing who amongst us were the most likely to 
be the first to succumb to the wild music and turbu- 
lence of the fierce Atlantic. 

" Oh," replied a young graduate of Dublin, " the 
ladies of course," he, doubtless, imagining their in- 
ternal organisms unequal to the oscillations of a 
stormy night. 

We had not long to remain in doubt on this par- 
ticular point, as the reader will readily imagine, and it 
was interesting to our fair ones to learn that the first 
of Neptune*s victims happened to be the aforesaid ob- 
server himself, while they, with but one exception, 
were enjoying a beefsteak breakfast, with all the con- 
comitant et caetera which a well-found ship can always 
produce from no one can particularly tell where. 

After breakfast we came on deck to take one more 
look at the land ere we lost it behind the " world of 

In a few minutes all were gazing shoreward over 
the rippling sea wrapped in deep reverie, as if recall- 
ing the charming associations of early days around 

It being, for me, the first time of leaving the home 
of my childhood, I beheld in the dim shadow of the 
distant hills the home of my first prayer and a mother s 



, « 

love ; the birthplace of my young aspirations, the 
cradle of maturer joys, and the arena of later sorrows 
and disappointments. 

As the last faint outline of the land disappeared, a 
mental reaction ensued : thoughts crowded in wild 
succession on the brain. A mighty host of hopes and 
fears struck out alarmed, and rushed into the future of 
my days like spectres of a midnight dream. At 
length a sort of sad content took hold on me, and as 
the bell of the ship struck four I looked once more, 
and — 

" A heartfelt adieu to the overstocked land 
I flung back on the breast of the breeze, 
As I turned my thoughts tovrard hapjHer scenes 
Far away with the antipodes. " 

On the seventh day we were past Madeira, without 
anything occurring worthy of notice. 

Soon we got into the north-east trade-wind region, 
and were rolling grandly through the tropics, starting 
the flying fish in showers from the deep. It was pleas- 
ing to notice the effect the first sight of this often- 
spoken-of and long-looked-for ocean wonder had upon 
those around me ; some appeared delighted with their 
new acquaintances, and rejoiced to see them fly, 
while a few looked sadly disappointed at finding 
them so diminutive ; in fact, they looked as if they 
had been expecting to see huge Leviathans darkening 
the heavens in their flight. 

On reaching the equatorial " doldrums " we were 
gratified in beholding the glories of a tropical sunrise, 
while night after night we watched — with overwhelm- 
ing delight — the ever-varying panoramic scenes ex- 
hibited in the western sky as the blazing orb of day 
plunged rapidly behind the sea. Such sights as these, 
with their endless associations, are enough in them- 


selves to raise the heart of man toward the Almighty 
Artist and Architect who scattered such golden glories 
abroad, ere yet the morning stars had finished the 
anthem of creation's birth. 

How swiftly the scene changes here ! the sun de- 
scends, and twilight rushes into night as if in haste to 
unfold another field of sparkling midnight wonders on 
which to feast the imagination. The equatorial fir- 
mament, with all its magnificent array, presents itself,, 
unclouded to the gaze of the enraptured beholder, 
looking upon which at once reveals to the reflective 
mind the utter nothingness of man. Could we look 
upon such heavenly order and harmony amongst the 
spheres, and take to heart the lesson it teaches, it 
would be well for us : but alas ! (it is to be feared) this 
is seldom the case ; like every other work of God in 
nature — ^although we frequently examine them with 
wondering admiration — we too often fail in extending 
our line of mental vision beyond them toward 
nature's God, 

How pleasing to know that such was not the case 
with every one on board, while those heavenly scenes- 
were daily passing in review before us, proclaiming in 
silent significance eternal truths to the heart. Soon 
they became stale, and were eventually tossed amid 
relics of the past, although, doubtless, not so soon to 
be forgotten. Before they reached the foregoing un- 
dignified classification, however, another object of 
more than ordinary interest presented itself. 

A homeward bound vessel appeared. 

Happy thought ! Can we send letters by her ? Wfe 
will see. 

As the ships neared each other the wind died away.. 
The stranger lowered a boat, the report of which had 
scarcely spread around our decks ere the saloon table 
bore unmistakable testimony to the production of a 

F 2 


heavy mail bag. Paper, pens, ink, writing desks^ with 
sealing wax and stamps, were flying about in the most 
romantic confusion, while each individual laboured at 
their pensas if their very destiny depended upon the issue- 
Soon the boat arrived alongside, exchanged reports 
and latest news, then receiving our despatches de- 
parted, followed by many a heaven-speed-thy-canvas 
prayer as they pulled away, after gratifying the longing 
desire of every heart, viz., sending letters home to the 
loved ones there. 

After this games manifold were introduced to 
relieve the monotony which was beginning to be 
painfully felt by some of our number. Gymnastics 
followed. Charades were attempted. Concerts were 
carried, together with the establishing of two weekly 
journals, which, being well conducted, proved sources 
of very lively interest to all who cared to point and 
frame a paragraph, forge an original idea, or wield a 
pen ; all contributions required to be original, drawn 
from each one's individual experience in life, and to 
those whose past career happened to be barren of 
incident, essays and witticisms proved an excellent 
field for their labours ; and as names were withheld it 
left us to conjecture to whose life the tale belonged, 
causing no little amusement and inquiry as to who 
wrote this, or who was the author of that. 

Upon such a basis, then, were our journals estab- 
lished, and they were the means of bringing to light 
many most amusing and interesting incidents in the 
life and travels of those around me. 

The next exciting scene which occurred was one 
every sailor appears to enter into with a sort of fiendish 
delight. The killing of sharks has always a charm for 
the seamen, and their proximity to the ship is soon 
discovered and reported, while steps are immediately 
taken for their capture. 


Such it was on the afternoon in question when the 
report, ** A large shark astern !" reached our ears. 

In the absence of a shark-hook a piece of pork was 
fastened to a cord and lowered into the sea. No 
sooner was this seen by the monster than a sudden 
movement of the dorsal fin above water gave reliable 
testimony as to the state of the animal's appetite. Up 
toward the bait it dashed, regardless of consequences, 
and fearless of the harpooner standing above ready to 
let fly the shaft of death- A few minutes of breathless 
suspense, and down went the harpoon right through 
the centre of the victim. *' Give her line," said the 
harpooner, and off it went for a short distance, was 
checked, and drawn back again ; in this way he con- 
tinued playing the huge creature until life was nearly 
extinct, after which, with the aid of ropes, it was 
landed on board, when the main deck was immediately 
transformed into a dissecting room, the result of which 
proved that the capture of one mother-fish had rid the 
ocean of thirty-six of those ravenous monsters, a fact 
which somewhat surprised many of us, as also the 
powerful pulsations of the animal's heart, as it hung 
suspended from a hook under one of the boats, long 
after the body had been cut up and despatched ; in 
short, it ceased not its vigorous throes until the sun 
went down. Will some natural historian be good 
enough to unravel this mysterious life for me ? 

By the time the shark's remains were disposed of, 
and the excitement it caused had in some measure sub- 
sided, tea was announced, after which a concert, with 
musical accompaniment, followed. In this latter 
pleasing manner many an evening closed over us, 
while day by day we rapidly narrowed the gulf 
between us and the land of our adoption. 

We soon got into the south-east trade-wind 
region, and lost a little of that equatorial heat which 


had almost prostrated some of us, while all felt its 
effects in an extraordinary degree. 

On through and out of the " trades " we ran ; 
passed in sight of Tristan d'Achuna, and soon found 
ourselves amidst the winter storms and temperature 
of the Southern Ocean. 

We had not gone far over that stormy sea ere we 
discovered that our commander (who had hitherto 
been as a sea god amongst us under propitious cir- 
cumstances) had suddenly become the most wretched 
specimen of incompetent imbecility possible to be 
found perhaps in the combined navies of Christendom ; 
therefore we will charitably clothe him in oblivion 
from midnight of the never-to-be-forgotten 14th July, 

At eight o'clock in the evening of the above date 
we were running before a furious storm, accompanied 
by fierce squalls and hail, while the sea came rolling 
on like living mountains, a sure sign at all times that 
the gale will be long and furious. 

A stormy moon shone out occasionally through the 
fierce flying scud, serving only to illumine the gather- 
ing horrors of the coming night. 

At midnight the chief officer was lashed, with two 
men, at the wheel, guiding the vessel before the 
tempest and the sea, our compass being useless, while 
the bold commander was moving about the saloon 
(endeavouring to put on a commanding countenance 
for the occasion) to " cheer" the excited passengers, 
instead of being on deck attending to the wreck of 
matter which had already commenced there. 

By one o'clock we felt as if the ship was running 
under water altogether, and this idea was speedily 
confirmed by the panels of the cuddy doors getting 
broken, while the water found its way amongst our 
feet ; at sight of which our captain lost his self-control, 


and would not allow the doors to be barricaded up 
from within, but to " bail the water out first and the 
carpenter would fix them after." 

We all set cheerfully to work, bailing out the water 
with vessels of every description, but before we got 
well warmed at our work she shipped another sea, 
swept the deck of everything, took a life-boat from the 
starboard quarter, and brought down the lower main 
topsail yard from the collar of the main stay, where it 
had been dangling since fifteen minutes past mid- 
night, bringing also the stay with it in its fall across 
the ship, where it broke in two, just as we were being 
driven — with the ladies in their night-dresses — from 
the inundated saloon to take what shelter the port 
after-cabin could afford. Speedily the saloon became 
a total wreck, and all our ready cash, letters of credit, 
valuables and clothing, battered up into a hetero- 
geneous mass. At 8 a.m., when the madman could 
no longer find room for the soles of his feet, he 
crawled with a terror-struck countenance up the 
companion ladder, when the chief officer (who was 
still guiding the ship's dangerous course) asked him if 
it was his intention to do anything to save the ship, 
as with the weight of imprisoned water and wreck 
now in the saloon she could not possibly lift her stern 
much longer in the trough of the sea. " I have," he 
continued, "been expecting the final closing of the 
matter these two hours past, and now, sir, I must tell 
you that I have an instinctive horror of leaping into 
eternity until my last effort has been put forth to save 
the ship." 

" What can we do } " said the fellow. 

** Round her to and prepare to cut away the upper 
masts is our only hope of safety. Our decks are 
already swept, the rounding of her to can do no 
more damage in that quarter ; in fact," said he, " this 


ought to have been done twelve hours ago, sir, if we 
had acted wisely." 

Round her to we did, and as she came to the wind 
she was launched upon her beam ends, nor would she 
rise until some of the upper masts were cut away ; in 
short, what with the weight of imprisoned water 
and wreck in the saloon and the violence of the storm, 
some of us entertained grave fears of her ever rising 
again, and were breathing (what we believed would 
prove) our last farewell and prayer. 

Soon, however, the good ship recovered herself, in 
some measure at least — sufficiently to enable the 
sailors to convey us to the forecastle where (to our 
great surprise) nothing whatever had been disturbed, 
while all night long such sufferings were being ex- 
perienced in the saloon. 

The sailors immediately gave up their beds to the 
ladies and children, while boxes were opened and dry 
clothes served out to every one of us, until none 
remained for themselves. 

I had often heard and read of Jacks generous 
nature, never dreaming that I was ever to become the 
grateful recipient of his kindness under such terrible 
emergencies and surroundings. 

As night closed in fervent were the prayers offered 
up for deliverance from further calamity. This, how- 
ever, was not to be ; like most of the ills of life, they 
followed in a train, treading each other's heels with a 
heartrending continuation which almost broke down 
the stoutest heart amongst us. 

Mast after mast came tumbling down, the first 
being the mainmast which fell down about seven 
o'clock the first night, when most of the crew and 
several passengers were around it at the pumps. 

Thick darkness shrouded every one from sight. 
The sea ran high ; and rain had joined its battering 


music with the wind and measured clanking of the 
pumps, when suddenly a " crack " was heard ; the 
mainmast tottered and with a crash like thunder fell 
on board, followed by the mate's loud call, " Any one 
injured ?" 

" Can't tell, sir," roared several (in a breath) who in 
obedience to his commands had rushed forward on 
the first intimation of its falling. 

Lanterns being procured, it was happily discovered 
that all had mercifully escaped uninjured. 

Our next operation was to cover up the hole which 
the mast had left exposed, down which the water was 
rolling with a sinking determination ; this done we 
secured the mast where it fell, and cut away the main 
yard from alongside, where it had commenced a wild 
battering-ram-like melody of its own. The falling of 
the mast having smashed our pump-levers, we soon 
prepared a primitive wooden lever to serve the purpose 
of pumping. 

Ere the rising of another sun, the mizenmast rolled 
down, breaking below the poop deck, tearing and 
smashing everything to atoms in its track, finishing 
up by landing over the starboard quarter within a few 
feet of our steering gear, which had it fallen upon, the 
dangers of our position would have been considerably 

While all this was taking place you must not think 
\ve were indifferently awaiting an approaching 
eternity, as the reverse of this was the case ; each one 
(captain under the plea of sore feet and a few panic- 
stricken excepted) laboured hard at the pumps and 
amongst the wreck to avoid it by all that mortals 
could do. It was not until we discovered how exceed- 
ingly little could be accomplished in such a sea and 
storm, that despair took hold on us and made each 
one feel our entire dependence upon the Almighty 


arm of Him who " ruleth in the raging of the sea, and 
stilleth the waves thereof." 

As night again drew on and darkness set its "signet 
on the flood" the storm if possible increased as if 
determined to drag the last ray of hope from every 
heart by howling a (seeming) sepulchral melody over 
us and, as it were, preparing a funeral requiem for 
ourselves and gallant crew. 

Many a stout heart beat with muffled solemnity 
that night ; friends had taken farewell of each other ; 
parents and children had joined in a last embrace, and 
by midnight were calmly awaiting their final plunge 
into the dark beyond. 

The awful appearance of that midnight scene still 
haunts me. Seventy-six wet, bruised, and exhausted 
human beings huddled together amongst wet hay and 
rags in a despairing heap ; the light of life gone from 
every eye, while an appalling finish is shed over the 
terrible picture by the ghastly flicker of the oil lamp 
at every roll of the iron beams. 

It is on such occasions as these we feel the necessity 
of living as we would wish to die, so that a retro- 
spective reckoning of the past may cause but little 
apprehension for the future ; then and then only can 
we hope to meet and sustain with any degree of forti- 
tude those trying emergencies which occur in the lives 
of most men in one form or another. 

About four o'clock next morning the foremast, with 
yard attached, rolled down with a terrific crash, which 
sounded in every despairing ear like the closing death- 
knell of our destiny ; the shadow of petrifaction settled 
upon every face, until aroused by the mate calling 
out, "Come out, every man who can lift an arm," 
which mandate was immediately responded to by 
most of his intrepid and exhausted crew and several 
passengers ; on reaching the deck we found the 


ponderous iron mast lying aft amidships over the 
house-top having broken a second time over the small 
engine boiler, torn the after end of house down to the 
deck, and finished its career by finally plunging 
through the main hatch into the hold, down which the 
green seas immediately rolled in a damaging deluge. 
No time was lost in covering up the black-looking 
chasm with old sails, planks, and oakum, after which 
we were gratified to hear our chief officer assert, yvith 
some show of confidence, that the worst was now over ; 
this was indeed a hope-inspiring declaration to many 
of the passengers, who unquestionably imagined that 
the very worst had now befallen us instead of having 
passed. It appeared that the rolling down of the 
masts had caused a sort of apprehension to the mate, 
lest in their fall they might cause irreparable damage 
to the already overstrained hull of the ship ; however, 
since the most fatal damage their fall had occasioned 
was now overcome, matters began to assume a more 
hopeful aspect, although totally dismasted. 

I cannot close this sketch without paying a well- 
merited compliment to our lady-passengers, whose 
conduct throughout was heroic beyond description. 

I need not carry you into the details of our subse- 
quent passage ; suffice it to know that jury masts were 
rigged with all possible despatch, and heaven-directed 
-winds followed us for thirty-four days, when we 
reached Melbourne in as good health and spirits as 
our surrounding circumstances could be expected 
to produce — a community unbroken by death nor 
maimed by accident, for which our united Hallelujahs 
were due to Him who " plants His footsteps on the 
sea and rides upon the storm" for our merciful 
deliverance from manifold dangers and death beneath 
the surface of a southern sea, and for the daily bless- 
ings so lavishly bestowed upon us as we ploughed our 


weary way over an ocean expanse of two thousand 
eight hundred miles. 

"And now, Mr. N., what think you of my 
voyage ? " 

*' Had that bold captain of yours no barometer on 
board, Mr. D. ?" 

** Yes, but he knew nothing of the law which' 
governs the movements of the mercurial column ; he 
had* a somewhat vague and confused notion that it 
rose for tkisy and fell for that, but beyond such primi- 
tive ideas all was chaos in that direction." 

"Another cheap man no doubt, Mr. D., engaged 
irrespective of quality in the article ; but I must be 
off now for one more cruise through the den of thieves, 
and then to bed for the night" 


Incidents occurring on board. — A Projected Mutiny is discovered 

amongst the Coolies. 

Our next shipping day arrived in the natural order of 
the calendar, and with it an addition of sixty emi- 
grants to our number, who were duly passed under 
inspection and handed over to the officers of the 'tween 

Amongst this lot appeared a few of the vilest-look- 
ing desperadoes ever conceived by the most fertile of 
Pandemonium dreamers, and as one of the crew 
declared, in the best English at his command — " Dem 
coons take all de watching we can gib dem, and no 
mistake about dat, anyhow." So also thought the 
chief officer as he pointed one out to me, in whose 
face lay concentrated enough to render a demon 
glorious in his native sphere. 

" There," said the mate, " I will set an optical brand 
upon that villainous-looking reptile, Mr. D. It is not 
the first time that venomous specimen of a Mongolian 
boa has cracked the bones of innocence in his filthy 
folds, and I would just like the satisfaction of making 
his ill-set bones crack before the voyage ends. You 
must know," he continued, " that this cursed Coolie 
trade affiDrds an outlet for all pirates who have made 
the land too hot for their peace of mind and personal 
safety ; and if that same card is not escaping the pur- 
suing lash of justice by coming here I am sadly taken 
in, and it requires a good deal to deceive me in 
correctly summing up a Chinaman now, Mr. D." 


" Then do you expect to have many such ' cards ' to 
deal with, Mr. N. ? " 

" A hundred or two, sir, I suppose — a few packs, 
nothing more." 

At this announcement, dear reader, I opened my 
eyes, and immediately discovered the very probable 
possibility of its truth, and while doing so I found 
myself mechanically repeating Mr. N.'s matter of 
course " that's all " in such a soliloquizing manner as 
worked him into a roaring fit of laughter. After re- 
covering himself, he said, " Oh, never fear, Mr. D., we 
will precious soon bring the round-heads to a know- 
ledge of what is trumps here, take my honest word for 
that ; we'll soon teach them to follow suit in the right 
direction on board of this boat, mark my word if we 
don't, sir." 

That night I took the precaution to examine my 
revolver and cutlass before going to sleep between 
those impressive bed-companions (each officer's bed 
being thus armed). 

Having satisfied myself that they were in excellent 
condition for executing any commission entrusted to 
them by a good nerve and steady arm, I stretched 
myself to rest ; but, O yet slumbering gods, stick rest ! 

I slept with half my faculties awake ; the sleepless 
half amused themselves collecting a fierce tempestuous 
brood of horrors. A moving mass of terrible events, 
of fire and sword, of dying and the dead, while I, the 
last upon the bloody list, overpowered by numbers, 
fell. The deadly vision fled. Its swift departure 
startled me to life. Faint as if from loss of blood, I 
woke exhausted, with every vein distended and every 
nerve stretched to its utmost tension, while the sword 
(which in my dream I had picked from my bedside) 
was quivering in my right hand, having been plunged 
fully an inch into the deck planks above. Imagine, 


dear reader, the effects of such a tragic awakening of 
a desperate dreamer, who had fought and was slain, 
then tossed — ere yet the blood was cold — into the gulf 
beneath ! That plunge into the deep awoke me, and 
on fully recovering the use of my senses I perceived 
our worthy captain standing at my cabin door laughing 
immoderately at, what he expressively termed, a 
blood-and-thunder dream. " I have been watching 
you for some time," he said, " and must now declare 
you a most methodical and systematic dreamer ; but 
get up, my dear sir," he concluded, ** and have a cigar 
and glass of wine with me, and remember your 
struggles no more ; you seem quite exhausted ; a glass 
of wine will restore you." 

I did not require a second invitation, be assured, 
but was out in a bound like one who had lost his life, 
and found something infinitely better. 

" What brought you to witness the tragedy between 
me and the shadows of a dream } " I inquired, by way 
of opening conversation. 

" You attracted my attention," he replied, " by ex- 
claiming aloud, ' Mutiny, eh } Now, Mr. N., what is 
trumps? Hearts! Then by St. George I mean to try 
the depth of some of them ;' then clutching the sabre 
by the hilt, you made a thrust at the head of a 
studious cockroach which, like myself, was watching, 
apparently with much interest and anxiety, the result 
of your preparations, not calculating for a moment 
that it was the unoffending object of your wrath ; 
but immediately it became aware of your pointed 
demonstrations and determined intentions it leaped 
from the deck, first at your head then at mine, but 
missing its mark, it brought itself into violent col- 
lision with the saloon-lamp. See," he concluded, 
pointing, "there it lies kicking, and, like yourself, 
stunned, but not dead." 


We sat together till the watchword of three o'clock 
sounded around the ship, talking of everything but 
of that which would in the remotest degree tend to 
disturb the remainder of my night's rest, and as the 
" All's well " echo of the last sentry died away we 
again retired to our respective berths, with a second 
"good night." 

Next morning at the breakfast-table the fracas of 
the night was retailed with great nautical gusto, of 
course, and in such a manner as cured me of such bed- 
fellows — at least, this proved the last that ever danced 
around my couch, and well it was so, as I verily be- 
lieve a repetition of such rival horrors would have 
taken me off entirely. 

The novelty of this little event had scarcely sub- 
sided, when one evening the captain and I had taken 
our seats at the tea-table, and were awaiting the as- 
sembling of the officers, when in rushed the interpreter 
and dashed into the armoury, exclaiming, " There is 
mutiny on foot, sir," addressing the captain. 

I shall not soon forget the cool, deliberate bearing 
of the captain (when I jumped to my feet) as he 
tossed himself back in his chair, and said — or rather 

roared — '' SiR, AND WHAT ARE YOU ABOUT TO DO ? " 

" I have discovered the leaders of the intended 
outbreak, sir," said the crest-fallen and astounded 
human being before us, " and was going to put them 
in irons." 

"Your presumption, sir, is only equalled by your 
audacity," said the captain. " Drop those irons at 
once/' he continued, " and return amongst them 
quietly and pipe them down below ; at the same time, 
remember not to presume so again, nor attempt re- 
sponsibility when I or the chief officer are here ; your 
duty is simply to report such irregularities, but not to 
act or interfere. Such blundering blockheads,'* said 


the captain, "would almost unseat the cool judgment 
of any man/* 

A few minutes elapsed and the operation of piping 
them down was accomplished, and a double guard 
placed over the hatchway. 

• On the interpreter's returning and seating himself at 
the tea-table, the following characteristic conversation 
took place between the captain and himself. 

" How did you discover that mutiny was being 
concocted, Mr. P. } " 

" From a muffled dialogue I overheard, and from 
the reports of two constables, sir." 

" When was it to have taken place } Do you know 
the programme } " 

" Yes, sir. It was to have taken place at seven 
o'clock to-night, when we should have been engaged 
at tea in the saloon, and when the sailors (having 
finished theirs) would be amusing themselves with 
their pipes, cards, and song-singing." 

"That," soliloquized the captain, "is the decided 
projection of some piratical villains, be assured." 

" And their mode of procedure, Mr. P. — can you 
describe it } " 

" It was as follows, sir. The guard at that particu- 
lar hour are generally rather lax in their duties ; 
taking advantage of this, the most daring and des- 
perate of the mutineers were to be so placed as, at a 
given signal, to disarm the sentries forward, and with 
their weapons, capstan bars, belaying pins, &c., to at- 
tack the crew in a body ; yourself and I being the 
only proscribed men on board ; we were to have been 
despatched, while the crew were simply to have been 
driven into their cabins and secured from without ; 
after which the ship was to have been plundered of 
all valuables, and the mutineers make good their escape 
in the boats, and steer for the Ladrones (islands)." 



" Admirable," was the captain's only reply ; " and 
now, Mr. P.," he resumed, " I will point out to you the 
very imminent danger (not to say sad catastrophe) 
you were about to accelerate by your rash and un- 
thinking procedure. You would have rushed out 
amongst them in the darkness, intending to have put 
the organizers of the conspiracy in irons. Can you 
not perceive that such thoughtless conduct would have 
prematurely brought on the rupture, and by this time 
(instead of enjoying our tea together) we might have 
been divided between time and eternity — body to the 
one, soul to the other ? '* 

" The only extenuating circumstance I can advance 
for my conduct, sir, is the fact of the scoundrels' in- 
tention to murder me," replied the interpreter. 

" I can understand your feelings perfectly, Mr. P. 
Still we must never forget that coolness under such 
murderous emergencies as these, coupled with sound 
judgment, will stand you in better stead than all the 
irons of imprisonment and war now on board of us. 

" For instance, had I been as fire-brained as you in 
this case, I should have sprung to my feet and joined 
in the iron panic, which in all probability would have 
brought about calamitous and fatal results. Or if I 
had (with dastardly cowardice), as I might have done, 
marched on deck and brought those four pieces of 
artillery charged with * grape' to bear upon the 
mutinous multitude, awaiting but the first breath of 
strife, to sweep them en masse into eternity, such 
monstrous madness would have magnified me into a 
demon, and branded me with the stigma of an un- 
scrupulous fiend. 

" Let your first thought in all such cases be found 
on the side of humanity, asking yourself how much 
can be effected, and how to accomplish that much at 
the least possible inconvenience to those around you. 


Such cases as the present are liable to occur in my 
absence on shore, therefore I would ask each officer 
now present to act with coolness, decision, and promp- 
titude should an event of the kind arise. 

" Especially do I address myself to you, Mr. N., as 
commanding in my absence, and to you individually 
I would say, let not your national caution lead you 
into the dangerous depths of procrastination, nor your 
Chinese antipathy overrule your judgment in dealing 
with any such conspirators. In conclusion, permit me 
to impress upon your minds an old time-honoured 
adage, viz., * Prevention is better than cure,' keeping 
in remembrance the fact that, if we fail in preventing 
mutiny amongst us here, one only alternative remains 
and that, as you are all aware, is recourse to arms and 

By the time we finished tea, the whole crew had 
become aware of what was to have taken place, and 
were loudly conjecturing what the captain's mode of 
procedure would be respecting it. 

Captain B. and I took a walk round amongst them 
in the hold after tea, and found the whole assemblage 
gathered in groups about the deck in earnest, subdued 
conversation, which bore ample testimony to the dis- 
appointment experienced in the anticipation of their 
murderous designs. 

" Mr. N.," said the captain, when returning on deck, 
''you will take all arms from the guard, and provide 
them with canes ; you will also instruct them to keep 
a vigilant eye over the denizens of the hold to-night, 
and henceforth you will have them piped below at 
close of twilight or 6 p.m. until further orders." 

Next morning dawned, and with it came instructions 
from the captain to the effect that no one was to make 
known to the Coolies by word, look, or deed, the dis- 
covery of the previous night ; consequently the usual 

G 2 


routine of the morning was gone through without any- 
one knowing what the captain's intentions were. 

After breakfast, however, he was seen moving about 
amongst them in a significant manner, quietly smoking- 
a cigar, while the officers watched him between times 
with the air of men satisfied that he would soon 
" spot " the leaders of the conspiracy. 

Having amused himself thus for half-an-hour, he 
walked aft, and calling the chief officer and inter- 
preter to him said — 

"Gentlemen, you will have all the Coolies piped 
below, and when you have done so, Mr. P., you will 
bring to the gratings those individuals reported to you 
as being the organizers of the proposed tragedy of 
last night." 

This effected, there appeared before us six as fierce- 
looking villains as I ever beheld, amongst whom was 
the illustrioso who bore Mr. N.*s optical brand. 

Strange to relate, as the evidence was being ad- 
duced, there was no lack of voluntary witnesses to 
prove that four out of the six arrested were the prime 
movers in the intended outbreak. 

Witnesses were examined at considerable length, 
several of whom testified to the fact that the prisoners 
were nothing but notorious pirates escaping a worse 
doom than slavery. 

Having given the case a most minute and pro- 
longed investigation (in order to ascertain how far the 
feeling had been reciprocated amongst the passive 
portion of the emigrants), the four were condemned to 
undergo the full penalty of the law. 

The optical-branded gentleman, as prime mover, was 
first seized up ; while the officers were ordered under 
arms, and the Coolies piped up to witness punishment, 
and have the nature of the heinous crime explained to 
them, after which there arose a general murmur 


amongst them to the effect that it served them 

" Proceed with the flogging," said the captain at 
length, and really the fellow bore his stripes most 
manfully — or, rather, most doggedly — wincing under 
\h^ fire-tempcrcd c^Xs from the chief boatswain's heavy 
arm, but uttering no more than a groan or two : before 
his four dozen were completed, however, his head 
dropped upon his shoulder in evidence that he was 
past feeling any more. 

Seeing this he was ordered to be unbound and 
handed over to the doctors, who were in attendance to 
dress their lacerated backs, after which said the cap- 
tain, " Fasten him to that ringbolt, so that, when he 
recovers consciousness, he may witness the punish- 
ment of the other sharers in his crime/* 

Flogging finished, the four were fastened to the 
ringbolts at each comer o/ the booby-hatch, during 
the day, and removed nightly to bolts prepared for 
them below, with a guard always over them, to prevent 
communication with the other passengers, or even 
breathing whispers amongst themselves. 

Seven days of this treatment was served out to 
them, at the expiration of which the captain asked if 
they yet regretted what they had done. 

" Oh, yes, sir, long ago," was the reply. 

" Then," said he, ** if I find you in thje same frame 
of mind to-morrow, I may liberate you :" upon which 
■declaration the poor creatures looked up as if about 
to be snatched from the bottomless pit. 

The morning came, and with it anxious looks for 
the captain's appearance : he did at length appear, 
and, advancing with the interpreter, repeated the 
question of the previous night, and was answered in 
like manner, with the addition that, if ever they broke 
the ship's laws again, they hoped to be beheaded. 


" Unlock the irons," said the captain, " and stand 
them up in line against the barricade, after which pipe 
all the Coolies to muster." 

The passengers having assembled, the prisoners 
were directed to stand out side by side, with their 
faces toward the sun, and on their knees swear hy 
that luminary never to break the law again, on pain 
of being beheaded. 

This was performed with alacrity, after which they 
were permitted to depart, and it will remain for us ta 
observe how they will conduct themselves during the 
voyage with respect to their oath. • 

We had scarce got well finished with the above 
case, when another of a Very painful nature came 
under our notice. 

A boat came alongside, and in it were two pas- 
sengers — one a European, the other a Chinaman. 

On reaching the deck, they desired to see the chief 
officer and interpreter. Those officials making their 
appearance, the Chinaman burst into tears, saying as 
he did so, " I have lost my son ; I have lost my son. 
I have been searching the last two days amongst the 
other ships, and have not found him. This," he con- 
tinued, "is the only one that remains to be gone through^ 
so kindly render me every facility in the search to re- 
cover my only living child — a youth of twenty-one 
years, who, I have been told was decoyed from his com- 
fortable home in the country about ten days ago." 

Having the necessary documents to authorize the 
search, the Coolies were forthwith piped below, and 
admitted on deck again by one at a time, while the 
father stood by watching for his boy, with a sad mix- 
ture of hope and fear struggling beneath his hairless 

When the last one was reported up, the countenance 
of the poor old man actually collapsed, as with tot- 


tering steps and tears rolling down his cheeks, he 
descended into the hold to satisfy himself that the son 
whom he sought was not there. 

I followed this heart-rending spectacle in his melan- 
choly march around the 'tween decks, but all was in 
vain. The pride and joy of his time-worn heart was 
not found. 

** Then," said he at length, " my son is lost indeed, 
gone in some one of those man-stealing ships to a 
foreign land, never more to return." 

" Oh, my son," he cried, " can it be that, as my hairs 
are getting white with years and all my kindred dead, 
I am thus to be robbed of my only child ?" 

As he concluded he raised his eyes toward the sun, 
and cursed in the bitterness of his heart the man- 
stealing demons of his native land, and all connected 
with the vile traffic. 

Just as he was about to ascend the ladder reaching 
to the deck, I heard a slight noise at the dark ex- 
tremity of the *tween decks, and casting my eyes in 
the direction of the sound, I beheld a person crawling 
from under the lower tier of bed-places. Catching 
the interpreter by the arm, I told him of the circum- 
stance, when he coolly replied, " It's all right, Mr. D. 
Let him alone ; that is his son, no doubt, who has 
stowed himself away, as is usually the case, being 
ashamed to meet his father, after allowing himself to 
be brought here as a kidnapped Coolie." 

The quick ear of the old man, however, had caught 
the sound also, and was already moving in the direc- 
. tion of it ; the interpreter, seeing this, ordered the 
man to come forth. No sooner did he move to obey, 
than the father rushed up to him, with the tears of 
affection not yet dry, threw his arms around the 
youth's neck, uttering the words, ** MY SON," then 
fainted in the young man's arms. 


When the father recovered himself, his first inquiry 
naturally was, *' Why did you hide yourself from me ?" 

" Because of the disgrace I have brought upon niy 
character, by allowing myself to be entrapped in the 
manner I was." 

" How did it occur ?*' said the father. 

** I am ashamed to tell you," replied the son. 

The question being repeated, the son went on to 
say, " I was walking out the day I was caught, not 
far from our home, when, feeling thirsty, I went into 
a house to take some refreshment. 

"In this house I met a very intelligent and well- 
dressed Chinaman, who entered into a cheerful and 
animated conversation with me on a variety of sub- 
jects, and subsequently asked me to join him in a 
glass of wine, which I, of course, did. After one 
came another and another, until at length I felt myself 
becoming quite agreeable, and my excellent spirits 
not at all weakened by the ever-increasing volubility 
of my charming new acquaintance. He told me, 
amongst other things, that he was about to take a 
trip to Macao, and asked if I had ever been there. 
On my replying in the negative, he asked if I would 
take a run down there and back with him ; and as he 
was without a companion, he would feel delighted 
with my society, and with my permission he would 
bear all expenses. I readily consented ; in fact, what 
with the wine and his everlasting humour, I felt ready 
to make a journey round the moon with him, had he 
proposed such a trip to me while half intoxicated, as 
I then was. 

'* Before we reached Macao, I had become oblivious 
to everything. On our arrival, however, I aroused 
myself in some measure, sufficient to show me that 
my friend was well acquainted with many people in 
the place, and being a man of good appearance and 


address, I felt inclined to consider him a person of 
some standing in the town : this idea was so far con- 
firmed by his asking me to walk into a large, fine- 
looking house, and take a seat while he paid his 
respects to the gentleman of the mansion, who, he 
said, was a particular friend of his. 

" I need hardly say that this was the last interview 
I had with the transparent scoundrel, and I was not 
left long in doubt nor alone, but was most politely 
requested to follow a domestic into another apartment, 
on entering which (half drunk as I was) I felt myself 
to be in a Chinese * man-trap,' where I well knew 
expostulation to be of no avail. Away from home, 
without money, and in a strange place, where the 
labour market is invariably overstocked, I resigned 
myself to my fate as philosophically as I could.** 

**But," said the father, "why is your name not 
amongst the list of emigrants } 

" They compel the captured man, in many instances, 
to change his name, adopting in lieu what we should 
call a Coolie name, so as to prevent, as far as possible, 
the discovery of his whereabouts. It is only with 
the better class such a course is adopted. So con- 
sidering me worthy of a second name, they gave 
and I readily accepted one, as I did not wish my 
own figuring in government books as a common 
Coolie. So here I am, father," said the youth in 
conclusion, " and if you desire me to accompany you 
on shore you will, I am told, be required to pay a 
ransom of seventy, or more, dollars." 

" I know it, my son," said the old man, " and were 
it ever so much more I would willingly pay it for you, 
although you have erred." 

It was truly gratifying to witness the father and 
son leaving the ship so thoroughly reconciled to each 
other ; the one pleased at recovering his lost son, 


while that son was made to feel, like the prodigal, that 
his forgiveness was complete. 

Reader, the above is a phase of the Coolie traffic 1 
knew not of, although the interpreter assures me that 
it is of almost daily occurrence — fathers looking for 
sons, and brothers for brothers. 

" You seemed rather interested in that little affair 
just now," said the chief officer to me as the boat left 
the gangway. 

" An affecting scene indeed, Mr. N. I was not 
aware such sights as those were to be met with 

" Not much of a place for poetical feeling certainly, 
sir, unless it be composed by the criminal at the 
gratings, under the musical influence of the regulation 
cats, then we are charmed with the pure, unadulterated 
notes, Mr. D. Such music as the whole blessed world 
can manufacture and render without any preorganized 
rehearsal. Those are the tunes, sir, the music we 
were born under, and the only untaught commodity 
we could boast of when we came twinkling, in any 
sort of shape, amongst the sons of sin. You laugh, 
Mr D., but you know it is true, sir." 

" I laugh, Mr. N., at the happy mode you have of 
dashing from one subject to another without marring 
the harmony." 

" I marred the blessed harmony very considerably 
at that particular period of my being, Mr. D. ; from all 
accounts handed down by our family chronicler it 
must have been worse than was produced by those 
cursed mutineers at the gratings the other day. What 
did you think of the songs they sung, sir } Did you 
notice my optical-branded villain first fiend in the 
illustrious quartet } " 

" Yes, Mr. N., but I cannot say that I much admired 
the blood tricklino: down the backs of the criminals. 


Although I would not presume to question the justice 
of the punishment, still I cannot help thinking such 
rigorous measures scarcely necessary for the governing 
of those poor creatures." 

" What, sir ! They may thank their stars that I 
have not to deal with them ; had I poured out the cup 
of punishment for those four villainous luminaries the 
other day, I would have totally extinguished that 
branded type of perdition, sir. Hung him up to dry 
and made a target of his vile carcase ; but we shall 
yet have to do that to some of them before the voyage 
is done, or I shall be wondrously deceived." 

"We will drop the subject, Mr. N., as it is not a 
very agreeable one for me to dwell upon, and per- 
haps you will explain the reason why you serve opium 
to so many of your emigrants, and who supplies it for 
them > " 

"The shipper supplies it, Mr. D., and we %\v^ it 
out in regulated and gradually decreasing doses, so as 
to wean them from the use of it altogether. If this 
matter was not attended to we should lose many of 
them by dysentery." 

" Do you serve out the opium you take from them 
when they come on board, or do you sell it as a 
perquisite } " 

" No such perquisite for me, sir, it too often causes 
disturbance amongst the Coolies, although many 
officers do sell it. Yes, and to the very men they took 
it from ; the poor wretches know their little pots 
again, and the result of such heathenish despotism 
you can easily imagine." 

" I can readily understand such conduct producing 
a strong sense of oppression, followed by a deep- 
rooted dissatisfaction." 

" Yes, Mr. D., and succeeded in many instances by 
a stern resolve to be avenged. In fact, sir, I believe 


many mutinies might easily be traced back to the 
little opium pot, out of which the murderous project 


" It is evident the poor Coolie is destined, from the 
time of his capture, to meet with oppression on every 
side, Mr. N." 

" Not in our case, sir ; you will find they will be 
treated like men here if they condescend to mind their 
p's and q's." 

" Where do they get the money to procure the 
opium, Mr. N., and to repurchase it when taken from 
them ? " 

" They get an encouraging advance of wages, Mr. 
D., six or eight dollars, which seals their destiny when 
they sign their- contract ; this advance has to be 
worked out at a subsequent period, of that you may 
rest assured." 

" Then I suppose most of them possess a few 
dollars when they come on board 1 " 

" Oh yes, but the doctors and interpreters manage 
to ease them of it before reaching Peru, a fact, by the 
way, which Captain B. had an eye upon when drawing 
out their instructions." 

'' What pay do they get, Mr. N. > " 

*' Here is one of their contracts, Mr. D. ; by this 
document you will find that the Coolie agrees to serve 
seven years, at three dollars a month, in addition to 
which his master provides him with board and 
lodgings, so that they are not so badly off after all, 
taking into consideration the sort of life the most of 
them have lived. Starved I should have said, existing 
in the market-place and sleeping in the street, nine out 
of every ten of them." 

" Then it is quite clear that the ultimate condition 
of the creatures will entirely depend upon the quality 
of material their masters are made of ?" 


" Just so, Mr. D. If their masters turn out to be 
charming compounds of brute and demon, the precious 
wretches are immediately introduced to the sublimities 
of a hell, and before long perhaps shovelled into an 
untimely grave, having moaned out an existence in 
all probability under a load of sores too loathsome 
for human eyes ; but there, sir, they are only Coolies, 
Mr. D., miserable imitation of men, nothing more. 
I'll be bound to say there are not a score of all our 
cadaverous crowd who ever enjoyed a regular meal in 
their lives for any length of time." 

"A great many of them appear sadly emaciated, 
'tis true, Mr. N." 

" Emaciated, sir ! By thunder I look upon them as 
the most miserable moving mass of emaciations ever 
dreamed about inside of a casual ivard. Just look at 
that precious apology for a shadow reflecting itself 
along by the mainmast just now ; do you call that a 
man — that breathing automaton, with barely enough 
muscular action in it to be classed as such T 

" It is to be hoped, Mr. N., that under your treat- 
ment their condition will speedily improve." 

" Improve, sir } I shall make every blessed shadow 
on board a gravitating existence long before the 
voyage ends. Yes, Mr. D. If I can't build up those 
tumbling ruins (I say it with becoming solemnity) I'll 
blot the reflections out." 

" There are, nevertheless, a goodly number of well- 
fed, intelligent-looking young men amongst them, 
Mr. N." 

" Ah, but they are quite a different order of items, 
sir. I look upon them as a collection of veritable 
animation, composed of all sorts and sizes of honest, 
educated young Facts — gentlemanly reproductions 
who have been kidnapped under lee of some brilliant 



" It is sad, indeed, to ponder over such * inhumanity 
to man ' at this advanced period of the Christian 


" Well, I suppose it must be, Mr. D. ; but you are 
just a little over-sentimental at present about the 
^poor Coolie.* It occurs to me you will drop an 
octave of your sympathetic music before long when 
you come to know them a little better. I consider, 
sir, that at least eight out of every ten of the Coolies 
are benefited by emigrating, and if we benefit eight- 
tenths of our felloiV'inen (as you would call them) by 
any act of ours, I hold that the end justifies the 
means, don't you T 

" No, I emphatically do not, more especially when 
the same results are attainable by honest means, as in 
the case of Coolie traffic under thfe British emigration 

"Do you call British Coolie emigration honest 
means, sir T 

" It is voluntary, at all events." 

" Voluntary, ha ! ha ! It has very recently become 
so then, in its essence^ Mr. D. I know from ex- 
perience that its earlier stages were very strongly 
marked with the cloven hoof of slavery, or a refined 
modern mode of kidnapping ; but no doubt by this 
time, the heinous enormities which crawled into its 
young life have been discovered, and the lasso of 
severe surveillance tossed over its polluted parts ; but 
had you followed early volunteers down to our colonial 
plantations, you might have seen such sights as the 
Prince of Darkness himself would have shuddered to 
have been the immediate executive author of; sights 
of demoralization that raised actual slavery to a social 
and moral eminence in point of comparison. Yes, 
sir, the WHITE Man had it all his own way with the 
patient Hindoo Coolie at that time, I assure you.'' 


" You must be referring to exceptional cases surely, 
Mr. N." 

"I am dealing with the rule, sir, although there 
might have been a few specimens amongst them 
possessed of souls: a master here and there who 
treated the Coolie to-day as if they required his 
services to-morrow ; and others perhaps who in caring 
for them bodily might have ventured to bestow a 
passing spasm over their spiritual want also. Oh yes, 
it might have been just possible to have found a few 
consciences amongst them, but like oases in the desert, 
at long and weary intervals. Strange lights in the 
darkness, sir, seen only to be wondered at; and if the 
* Powers ' have provided a remedy for the disease, 
may it be severe in its reactionary tendency ; but 
even yet, in this year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-six, I would not admit the British 
system to be a bit better than this. What, I would 
ask you, is the meaning of those brilliant allurements 
which are held out to entice the poor ignorant Hindoo 
from his quiet home, to struggle out a period of 
service they are utterly unfitted for, upon plantations 
where stated hours of labour are almost unheeded and 
physical sufferings as little cared for 1 What is it 1 I 
would ask you again, and answer, slavery sub rosa 
Mr. D. and no two ways about it ; at least such / 
consider it." 

" It is nevertheless preferable to the Chinese system 
of man-stealing, Mr. N." 

" I grant you that, sir, in its primary sense, but the 
ultimate destiny and treatment of the two classes are 
identical ; the Hindoo being the worse off in the end, 
in consequence of his physical weakness as compared 
with his Mongolian prototype ; and as there exists no 
government arrangement to carry off the surplus scum 
of this country, and no emigration fund to aid in doing 


so, we must just make the best and (I say it feelingly) 
the most out of the trade we can." 

"And a money-making matter it appears to be, 
Mr. N., if one may judge from the numbers engaged 
in it. Still I consider it a lasting disgrace to any 
Christian nation which permits its ensign to fly at a 
* slaver's * masthead, for slavery, dc facto^ I consider 
this trade to be." 

" Well, Mr. D., call it by whatever name you please, 
but answer me this question. What is to be done 
with the countless thousands this cursed land cannot 
support } Is it not better to carry off the surplus 
myriads in this manner, than to leave them at home 
to lead lives of misery, starvation, and crime V 

" It might be, Mr. N., if the unscrupulous kidnapper 
would confine himself to the starving and criminal 
portion of the population." 

"The majority of them are composed of that class 
and are benefited, Mr. D." 

" It is evident, Mr. N., you are resolved to maintain 
that the end justifies the means ; therefore it is useless 
for me, with my limited knowledge of the country and 
people, to attempt to reason you out of it ; con- 
sequently, with your acquiescence, we will change the 

" All right, Mr. D., but just allow me to give you 
one more striking proof of the necessity I am preaching 
before you tack ship in that sort of way." 

" You will nevertheless fail in convincing me of that 
necessity, Mr. N." 

** I will risk it, sir, if you will listen to a few facts 
which you cannot be ignorant of The first is that, 
from time immemorial until very recently, this precious 
land has been a gigantic standing-stilly leavc-me-alone 
sort of blank upon the face of the earth ; no enterprise 
would ever have emanated from the Celestial slough had 


it not been forced upon them and stirred up from 
-without, which example we are sacredly following out 
in the Coolie trade. There is one thing, however, 
which marks their progress with other nations, and 
which follows from their attention to the command 
to multiply and replenish, peopling a land celestial 
in itself by name, but miserably poor in all that con- 
stitutes a nation's greatness. Is that not so, Mr. 
D. .? " 

"There is certainly some truth in your remarks, Mr. 
N., but I fail to see how you are to bring them in as a 
proof of the necessity you are endeavouring to set 

" Leave that to me, Mr. D. ; you will find me there 
presently, sir, after you admit that external pressure 
has worked out any commercial good the land has ever 
been productive of." 

" One thing the nation has produced," I said, en- 
deavouring to change the conversation, " and that is a 
few eminent philosophers and clever men.'* 

^^ Eminent philosophers ! Mr. D .•* Ah ! ah ! Yes, sir! 
One mighty mind once escaped across the cursed 
empire, and they deified him ; and were Confucius to 
look up and shake his withered locks from the down- 
trodden dust of past ages, his first exclamation on 
rising would be, *My UNCHANGED NATIVE land!' 
There is one thing, however, sir, which would not fail 
to arrest his attention and startle him after clearing 
the dust from his eyelids, and that is the hungry multi- 
tudes who move around her shores, at sight of which he 
would open his ghastly jaws and shout, * How DO THE 
LEGIONS EXIST } * My answer to which would be, that 
one-fourth existed by starving, another starved by 
existing, while the remainder were not at all particular 
— rob, plunder, work, or kill — so long as the mighty 
dollar rewarded their Celestial operations." 



"You are drawing a strong and lively picture, Mr. 
N., but what about the necessity ? " 

" None too lively, sir, as you will presently find. I 
wish to present the necessity in as forcible and, at the 
same time, truthful a light as possible, and in doing 
so I would ask you what is the cause of so much crime 
stalking about the country and around her shores, the 
perpetrators being in many cases none other than the 
surplus creatures the land cannot honestly support — 
starving vagabonds, often commiting murder in cold 
blood, for a few dollars wherewith to live." 

" You have not formed a very exalted opinion of 
Chinamen in general, Mr. N., consequently I do not 
expect to find much sympathy for them emanating 
from you ; by your reasoning you consider kidnapping 
indispensable for the purpose of clearing out the sur- 
plus population ; therefore I am satisfied to leave it at 
that point." 

" Emigration, Mr. D. } yes, and no two ways about 
it. Why, sir, were it not for the many thousands 
annually taken away by the like of us from the vile 
land there would be no living in any of her seaboard 
towns, and it would take the combined navies of 
Europe to keep down piracy upon her seas ; it is bad 
enough in all conscience now, but when emigration 
ceases I would rather be planted in a flourishing colony 
of drunkards, draggle-tails, drabs, and devils, than live 
on the blood-guilty soil. I hope these facts, Mr. D., 
have cleared up the necessity of the Coolie trade." 

"Yes, of emigration, but not of kidnapping. 
Talking of piracy, Mr. N., have you ever had the 
honour of a visit from any of the piratical junks oc- 
casionally to be met with in China waters ? " 

" Once, sir, and an exciting scene it was, for in us 
they * caught a Tartar! " 

** How, when, and where did it occur ? " 


" Too late to-night for that, Mr. D. I will reserve 
it for some future occasion, and meantime let me ac- 
quaint you that if you are going on shore at all to- 
night I would advise you to lose no time, as it is 
getting dark, and pirates on a small scale are to be met 
with between here and the shore ; nor can you depend 
upon your boatman, as they are often in collusion with 
the robbing rascals, and they have been known to row 
the unsuspecting passenger into their very fangs." 

*' Indeed!" 

" Yes, sir, I was once set upon by one of them, but 
they made a mistake that time, as my six-shooter and 
I can testify." 

And now, dear reader, as several days must elapse 
ere matter can be collected for another chapter, I will 
leave you for a few weeks, and gratify my restless 
spirit by a visit to Canton. 

H 2 


Incidents occurring daring Embarkation. 

Four weeks have passed since we were last together, 
during which time the number of our emigrants has 
swelled to the amount of five hundred, men and boys; 
large as the number is, however, the same good order, 
regularity, and method prevail, as are to be found in 
the best organized communities ; so much for the 
admirable laws and instructions provided for every one 
on board. 

" How have you been getting on since I left you, 
Mr. N. ? " 

** A I, sir, all things considered." 

" Have there been any occurrences worthy of record- 
ing in the interval ? " 

" Any quantity of small matters, such as quarrelling, 
fighting, and thieving from one another ; they are all 
notorious thieves you must know, sir ; think nothing 
of helping themselves to anything which, in their 
extreme opinion, they imagine themselves more suited 
to enjoy than the owner thereof." 

" I do not suppose, Mr. N., that they were ever 
instructed in the laws respecting the rights of property, 
or the necessity of keeping faith in forced contracts. 
Have any of them yet attempted their escape } " 

" Yes, Mr. D. We have had sundry cases of deser- 
tion (or attempted desertion) lately ; and if you 
would like a description of them I am prepared 
to give you, to the best of my ability, a graphic one." 


" Then pray proceed, pointing and framing your 
paragraphs with that precision which lies at your 
command, when you choose to call it into operation." 

" Well, sir, we will commence by taking them in the 
order of their occurrence, the first being of a rather 
amusing nature : — 

" The Coolie in question, after dark, crawled over 
the forecastle deck on ' all fours,* and got into the 
' head,* i.e., the framework stretching out to the 
shoulders of the * figure.' There he waited until all 
was quiet, and to make sure there was no fear of 
detection by the guard above he thought it advisable 
to take one more look up ; that one more look sold 
him, sir ; the guard caught sight of the reptile's head 
as it disappeared, but took no apparent notice of it, 
although determined to know the cause of his long- 
tailed shipmate's visit to this extraordinary spot. 
Having given the wretch a few minutes to assure him 
that all was as he could desire, the guard slipped 
quietly up and looked into the * head,' and beheld the 
precious villain in puris naturalibns, the happy state 
in which his mother found him, and busily engaged 
tying the few rags he had taken off into as small a 
bundle as possible, for the purpose of fastening them 
upon his back preparatory to a midnight on the deep. 
After permitting him to go through all his arrange- 
ments in peace, and when he was about to descend 
the chain cable into the water, the guard from above 
(who had been looking down upon him for some time) 
addressed him in the following style (at the same 
time levelling a six-shooter, one of his own, at the 
fellow*s head) : *Now then, you long-tailed blunder- 
buss, are you almost loaded and primed ? When you 
are, just give me the tip, and Til take the liberty of 
applying a fuse, which in all mortal probability will 
send you slap-bang into the world to come a first-class 


specimen of a self-manufactured hump-back. Up with 
you on deck in an instant/ roared the guard, * as you 
stand, and let us have the hump of rags on your back 
as evidence of your desperate intention/ 

" He slipped on deck, Mr. D., like a polished flash 
of * greased lightning,' sir; they have an instinctive 
horror of loaded firearms when levelled at their head. 
Of course he was dragged to the gratings under lee of 
his humpy and tried as he stood ; he pleaded guilty of 
deserting intentions. The * old man * asked his reason 
for wanting to leave the ship ; he replied that he had 
no particular reason any further than a desire to get 
ashore. Not liking this reply, the captain set about 
inquiring the particulars as known of the rascal 
amongst the others, the result of which proved that 
the scamp had voluntarily entered himself as a Coolie 
at several of the barracoons, had been shipped off, and 
effectually made good his escape from two other 
vessels, after receiving and squandering the usual 
advance of wages in each case." 

" And is such of frequent occurrence, Mr. N. } " 

"Quite a business in itself, and carried on with 
wonderful success, by good swimmers, for a length of 
time ; but, like this round-head, sure to be caught 

" What was done to him .'*" 

"Flogged of course, and until there was no more 
muscular action in him than in the bundle of clouts on 
his bleeding back ; that's the way to break them in, 

" I fear, Mr. N., my journal will contain a tissue of 
very saddening events long ere the voyage is brought 
to a close." 

" Call them, rather, a charming collection of musical 
incidents, sir, and I shall better understand you." 

" Such music falls painfully upon my ear, Mr. N.*' 


" Perhaps it would if you had heard that last 
anatomical organization blowing, from lungs of 
thunder, one of the most discordant conceptions ever 
howled by a host of drunken ' Bacchanals.' " 

"You have the most extraordinary mode of de- 
scribing events, Mr. N., I ever listened to, and as you 
have brought a description of the first case to a 
musical termination perhaps you will kindly introduce 
us to the studied prose of case No. 2." 

" The next one occurred on a beautiful clear night 
— * lovely as an angel's dream ' — when, after piping 
them down and counting them twice, we discovered 
the loss of two. 

"We immediately despatched as many boats in 
search of them : I went in charge of one boat myself, 
to inquire amongst the ships between us and the 
shore if they had picked up any finless fish during 
the evening. On board the second vessel I visited 
I found one of the sea-monsters tied up by the tail 
(alongside the mizenmast) with every fin trembling 
with the cold. Turning to the mate of the vessel, I 
asked him how he discovered the round-head. * Oh,' 
said he, ' the amphibious animal got his flippers en- 
tangled amongst the links of our cable at the water- 
line, and commenced howling like mad. So, on 
looking over the bows, our captain (a humorous 
"Yank") said, "Hallo, you carathumpian -looking 
tarnation institution, I judge you are blowing a pretty 
considerable tune down there ; just you manufacture 
one more shake out of that dorsal ridge of yourn, 
then I guess we'll have a closer inspection of your 
submarine construction." We at length hauled him 
up, and as he is yours, the sooner you get him inside 
of dry rags the better, lest the beggar slip his moor- 
ings altogether.' 

" After getting him on board, we clothed the wretch, 


and placed him under arrest till the following day ; a 
few minutes after this the second boat returned with 
less fortunate results ; the other villain having pos- 
sessed himself of a couple of oars from that boat, which 
was hanging astern at the time of desertion, and 
which enabled him effectually to make good his 

" What reason did the one you captured assign for 
deserting ?" 

" Oh, a widow-mother to look after, as usual ; no 
lack of dead fathers and broken-hearted helpless 
women upon such occasions." 

" And do you not think there could exist a pro- 
bability of their statements being true, Mr. N. V^ 

" Probability } Yes, but remote as the frigid zone, 

" Have you had any more interesting cases of father 
and son meetings.**" 

" We have, sir ; but not of such a poetically sub- 
lime nature as the last ; one father, in fact, appeared, 
when coming on board, prepared to swallow his pre- 
cious boy without salt or seasoning : he looked round, 
sir, like a caged and starving tiger, shaking his 
cadaverous jaws and growling at the happy gambols 
of a greasy old sow without, waddling along inside of 
a rich superfluity of farmyard-manufactured fat ; but 
I will describe them as they took place. The first 
occurred two days after the last case of desertion. 

" A boat brought the father and a functionary fron> 
the barracoon alongside, when coming on board, 
whom do you think I discovered in the illustrious 
tail-cultivator } Why, sir, no less a personage than a 
ship-chandler, or 'compradore,' of considerable standing 
and consequence at Hong Kong. 

"Judge of my surprise when he told me that his 
son had been kidnapped, to the best of his belief. 


adding that he did not know the particulars of the 
case any further than that his son, when last seen, 
Avas leaving Hong Kong for Macao, in the com- 
pany of a strange Chinaman, and nearly intoxicated, 
and, continued the old chap, ' as he is not to be found 
on shore, I am now searching for the rascal amongst 
this fleet of slavers! 

" ' Look here,' said I, ' you old attenuated strip of 
iniquity, if you want to find your precious boy, let me 
have none of your slave-driving insinuations on board 
of this boat, or, by thunder ! I won't guarantee your 
own safe return to the cursed land.' " 

" You could not have put such a threat into execu- 
tion, Mr. N., surely?" 

" I don't know so much about that, either ; for, by 
the pipers of war ! if I had the blessed Head of the 
Celestial slough — the Emperor himself — once on 
board, I feel assured we could manage even him, sir. 
Apropos ©f that, Mr. D., you would have been amused 
the other day when a young kidnapping scoundrel 
was sent off (ostensibly) in charge of the few he had 
been the means of capturing, when, after getting 
them on board, the interpreter coolly informed him 
that he also was booked for the voyage along with 
the rest, and that his contract and outfit would be 
forthcoming without further loss of time. 

" To see the wretch, after this announcement, going 
spinning about the deck as if a roaring and restless 
evil spirit had suddenly taken possession of every 
limb and lung : the sight of the villain was, without 
exception, the richest optical treat I ever had. Such 
is the way they serve the clumsy young thieves, 
Mr. D." 

" Does such often occur, Mr. N. T' 
"No, not by any means an every-day novelty, as few 
young fellows are found bold enough or knowing 


enough to join the ranks of the kidnapper; and should 
any such be found too ignorant for the task, they serve 
them thus, and a jolly bit of fun it creates when it 
does happen. Why, sir, it took that wretch of ours 
about four days to realize the monstrous capture ; 
moving about meanwhile with the biography of his 
whole life reflecting from his lustreless head-lights. 
There he comes, Mr. D., hardly yet reconciled to the 
startling reality of his captured existence." 

" Let us return to the old compradore, Mr. N., and 
lend him eveiy aid to recover his lost son." 

" I did so, Mr. D., and told the father he ought to be 
soundly horsewhipped for not knowing better : * How- 
ever, old boy,' said I, *come along, and if he be 
planted inside these wooden walls, we will very soon 
root him up.' 

" We then piped the Coolies down as usual, but (as 
in the last case) he was not found, ashamed to meet 
his father if he was on board at all. After the Coolies 
were all up from below, the 'tween decks were well 
searched, under bed-shelves and everywhere, but to 
no purpose. I then asked the old fellow for a de-. 
scription of his son, and his apparent age ; after getting 
at that, I let loose upon the search the whole con* 
stabulary, the result of which was, that the rascal was 
caught inside of a ventilator, comfortably awaiting his 
father's departure. 

" Of course he was dragged out and brought to light ; 
immediately the father beheld him, he staggered back 
a few paces to survey him from head to foot, he being 
now clothed in the unenviable garb of a common 
Coolie. Having satisfied himself that the person 
before him was indeed his son, he commenced some- 
thing after the following style : ' You are a wonder- 
fully clever dog to allow yourself to be brought here, 
you worthless beast. What do you think of yourself) 


eh ? Are you not ashamed to look me in the face, 
you headless hog, after putting me to so much trouble 
and expense ? Is this the use you make of the 
education and training you have received ?' roared 
the father, in a fit of ungovernable fury. *And 
tell me,' he concluded, * why you could not be 
found when the others were being told out of the 
Hold just now ?* 

" The son looked up very indifferently, and said, 
' Well, father, if you must now, I was telling myself 
comfortably into one of the main ventilators so as not 
to meet you/ 

" ' You ungrateful villain,* screamed the excited 
father, * I have a good mind to let you be taken to 
Peru and let you die there, cast you off and leave you 
to your fate. I would too, but for the trouble I have 
already taken in the matter.' Finishing his wild 
remarks, he marched up, and taking an impressive 
hold of his son by the arm, said, ' Come along with me 
now, and let this be a lesson to you for ever.' 

" The son, however, very deliberately unfastened the 
father's grasp, saying, * I am sorry that you should 
have lost your temper over this or any act of mine, 
father, as it is now a matter of supreme indifference to 
me whether I go on shore or remain to reap the con- 
sequences of my own folly. If I do go with you,' he 
continued emphatically, * it will be with this under- 
standing alone, viz., that it never again be mentioned 
in my presence, nor to any of my friends ; on these 
conditions only will I go with you and no other.' 

** At this cool, determined reply, the father's feel- 
ings gave way, the effect of which was that they both 
moved off mechanically toward the gangway and dis- 
appeared for the shore." 

" Another proof, Mr. N., that the kidnapper is no 
respecter of persons." 


"Well, Mr. D., if education won't lead the 'noodles' 
in the way they ought to go, they must just be led ; 
and by thunder, sir, this is the very track for all such 
thickheads ; transplanting soft nuts into a harder soil 
may, and often does, result in fruitful productive- 

"Very good, Mr. N., but let us drop the 'nuts' 
and inquire into the next case, if you please." 

" And which presents, Mr. D., such a tragic scene 
as is seldom witnessed in the ordinary walks of 

"On a dark night a small junk came off with a few 
Coolies, and amongst them was the father, a powerful- 
made man, in search of a son. When he came on 
deck, he presented one of the finest specimens of 
enraged anatomy I ever beheld, nor shall I forget the 
fierce expression of his face while surveying all around 
him when getting on deck. Did you ever see a 
lunatic looking furiously about for something to 
quarrel with, or a fellow in the D. T.'s watching with 
drunken vengeance the first opportunity to brain a 
few of the inebrious tragedians who are operating in 
front of his inverted gig-lamps t If you have, you 
will be able to picture the old demon's appearance to 
a T, 

"After getting the Coolies on board, I went up 
to the illustrious-looking animal and tapped him 
familiarly on the shoulder saying, ' Come along, old 
hairy -head, and look for that overgrown boy of yours * 
(you must know that the youngster he was in search of 
was one ' o' John Tamson's bairns ' aged twenty-five). 
He gave a significant grunt and followed the inter- 
preter, myself, and others down below, where most of 
our crowd were asleep. We favoured him with a 
lamp to examine the face of every sleeper in our 
march around the ship. The first inspection failed of 


results ; the second, more minutely made, failed also ; 
after which the * auld carl ' surveyed us for a moment 
as if selecting the most tender of the followers to eat 
as a relish to his disappointment. The interpreter 
seeing this said, * Now then, you old Celestial, we 
can't be with you all night, you understand, so make 
up your mind, and let us know whether you are 
satisfied or not' 

" * I will take another look round with your per- 
mission,' said he, while shaking his head with such 
emphasis as led me to conclude that, should he find 
his boy, the rencontre would be of anything but a 
charming nature. 

" The third search was done with such minuteness 
that non-discovery was out of the question if he was 
on board at all ; the result of this minute inspection 
of each individual sleeper awoke all on board of 
course, after which, we had an excellent illustration 
of a gigantic whispering den. 

" We had almost completed the third survey, and 
the fruitless search had worked the father into livid 
fury, when stopping suddenly before nearly the last 
sleeper, he turned round to one of the constables 
saying, ' Take hold of the lamp ; I have caught him at 

" He then actually sprung at the sleeping man, 
caught him by the tail and one leg, and dragged 
him from the top bunk bang on to the deck : hav- 
ing done so, he picked the bewildered being up, 
stood him on his legs, then hauled off and dealt 
him a thunderous awakener alongside the listener ; 
by all that's unearthly I shall never forget the 
picture of the enraged and noisy monster while I 

" There he stood uttering such a flood of melodious 
anathemas and interrogations as led me to conclude 


that another heavy peal was preparing to awaken the 
other ear of the unfortunate and sleepy young man ; 
seeing this, I closed upon the father and said, ' Look 
here, you ferocious-looking fragment of a nether 
world, do you know that you are damaging my 
precious cargo ? and by thunder, sir, if you draw one 
drop of claret from that hide-bound case I'll seize 
you up and draw off a little of your infernal fluid for 
the good of society ;* upon which the crusty old 
bundle of infuriated bones turned round and told me 
to mind my own business, and that the individual he 
was taking such liberties with was the second-born of 
his No. 3 wife, and such being the case he claimed an 
unqualified right to chastise him. 

" * That is all very excellent on shore, old boy, but 
you must be taught another doctrine here,' said I, 
and ordered him under arrest, upon which the police- 
men pounced upon him like so many vultures, and 
had him bundled on deck and tied a prisoner to the 
barricade in the twinkling of a cat's ear. 

" On reaching the barricade and settling accounts 
with the father, they departed : and while descending 
into the junk I heard the old fiend muttering through 
his clenched teeth these words to the son — * I will 
repay you for the indignity I have had to endure 
to-night for you.' 

" When the junk was cast off from alongside, 
furious looks were exchanged, immediately followed 
by high words between the two ; and as they sailed 
off into the darkness I observed (with the aid of night- 
glasses and the light on board the junk) that a 
contest would inevitably be the end of it. Scarcely 
had the thought flashed through my mind, when the 
son flung himself violently upon the father, tossed 
him to the level of his toes ; and the last words which 
startled the echoes were, * Say then you forgive me, 


or I will make this grasp the messenger of death to 
you !* I could see the son had the father by the 
throat in such a position as rendered the latter power- 
less, while one of the junk's crew was endeavouring 
to drag the son from the struggling body of the old 
man. So ended this tragic scene, at least to my eye, 
as I lost sight of them in the darkening distance. 
What think you of it, Mr. D. } Rather a strikmg 
meeting of Celestials, eh V 

" I should like to have been an eye-witness of it, 
Mr. N. Was the captain on board when it took 

" No, he came on board shortly after, bringing with 
him a parcel of fire-brigade caps, as he called them, 
telling me, as he handed them over, that he intended 
to establish a formidable fire-brigade from amongst 
the Coolies. 

"Just think of the confounded job it will be to 
organize a pack of those long-tailed 'dunderheads' 
to put a fire out. It will be an everlasting task, I 
know, to mould those shapeless lumps into anything 
like fire-brigade form of action." 

" I would beg to differ in opinion, Mr. N., with 
respect to the dunderheadedness of many of your 
passengers ; they appear to me not only intelligent, 
but (as a consequence of that intelligence) suscep- 
tible to training and good discipline ; therefore I 
cannot perceive any great difficulty in the way 
toward the accomplishment of such a desirable 

"Just like the captain, Mr. D. ; you imagine a 
fellow can twist those opaque-brained exotics into 
any sort of shape you please, but I tell you, sir, the 
task is Herculean, and no two ways about it" 

"Well, perhaps we shall be better able to judge 
when you get them enrolled, Mr. N." 


"And which I purpose shall be accomplished 
before our next meeting, if possible ; and for the 
present I must be off and have a look round, as I 
expect a large shipment of the Mongolian ejections 
off to-day, and as you are now going on shore, sir, 
good-bye for the present." 


We sail with over seven hundred souls on board, and discover a 

mutinqus spirit amongst the crew. 

" Here I am once more, Mr. N., having taken fare- 
well of yonder settlement of human enterprise and 
pleasant friends. Are all your emigrants on board ?" 
** Human enterprise did you say, Mr. D. ? By 
thunder, you never were more correct since you laid 
aside the vernacular pothooks and hangers at your 
nurse's knee, for if you look round about you here 
you will discover 600 enterprising exotics, the 
captured product of that same cursed settlement of 

"Are your sentiments changing then, Mr. N., re- 
specting the Coolie traffic ? as I am informed that it 
is the principal support of the colony ; and by your 
closing remarks the settlement is accursed in con- 

" My sentiments are the same as ever, sir. I never 
advocated man-stealing, but simply the necessity of 
the trade, legitimate or illegitimate." 

" Did you say 600 were now on board ? " 
" Yes, sir, and fifty more will complete our crowd ; 
and I care not how soon, as I am getting jolly well 
sick of this long delay." 

"When do you expect the remaining fifty ?" 
" In the course of a week, or less." 
" When did the captain leave this morning ?" 
" About an hour ago ; he has gone to discharge 
one of the crew for striking a Coolie." 



" Indeed ! under what circumstances ?" 

" Two or three of the seamen who were shipped 
the other day being busy about the deck, the Coolie 
happened to get in amongst their work, when one of 
them (without a word of warning) hauled off and 
dealt the unlucky blunderer a furious awakener upon 
his large ear, saying as he did so, * Get out of the way 
you long-tailed / you know. The captain, ob- 
serving it, called me and said, pointing to the sea- 
man, ' Tell that individual to pack up his clothes and 
prepare to leave the ship ; I shall discharge him 
to-day for raising his hand just now to one of the 

" Of course I told the fellow to pack up and clear 
out, acquainting him at the same time what for. He 
thereupon went to the captain with a profusion of 
apologies, saying he had been several voyages in the 
trade, and never yet was found fault with for giving a 
Coolie a simple box on the ear. 

" ' I don't doubt you,' replied the captain, and con- 
tinued, * I am sorry to hear such an assertion. How- 
ever, when you joined this vessel you were made 
acquainted with the laws, one of which protects the 
Coolie from abuse ; this most important one of all 
you have just now broken, and I look upon the 
offence as a very grievous one, viz., that of striking a 
poor creature who cannot retaliate, and dare not if he 
could ; therefore you are to be discharged as a 
cowardly transgressor unfit to be here ; consequently 
get into the boat, and no further expostulation/ 

" Of course the fellow had to top his boom forth- 
with and clear out, which took the *old man' ashore a 
little earlier than usual." 

" Very summary mode of dealing with the seaman, 
Mr. N." 

*• Should such occur at sea, Mr. D., you will have a 


more serious illustration of how such cowardly 
scoundrels are handled there, sir." 

"What other mode would he adopted at sea ?" 

" Flog the unmanly villain within the shadow of 
death, sir." 

" But such treatment is unlawful, is it not V 

"There is no law allowed on board a Chinese 
Coolie ship in twenty fathoms of blue water, Mr. D., 
however much justice you may find there." 

" Finding the seaman thus disposed of delighted 
the passengers, of course, Mr. N..*^" 

" I should rather think it did, sir. The fact spread 
around the ship in the twinkling of a cat's ear, and 
several score were afterwards heard breathing to each 
other the satisfactory assurance that there would be 
no oppression here. Nothing like making an im- 
pressive example of the first offender, Mr. D., even at 
a personal cost and inconvenience." 

" I have every confidence in the captain's power to 
manage the expedition with ease to himself and 
officers, Mr. N." 

" So have I, sir. In fact, everything he undertakes 
is just as sure to turn out successful as my chin is to 
embellish itself with a miserable-looking growth of 
high northern weeds." 

" His success, Mr. N., I believe, depends in a great 
measure, and in fact grows out of his consistency of 

" No doubt of it, sir. For myself, for instance, I 
would sooner serve a consistent fiend than an incon- 
sistent prof essor of Christianity y for out of the former a 
fixed principle will be found growing ; while the latter 
is a LIVING LIE, a stranger to principle and truth." 

"Such professors, Mr. N., do more to injure the 
great cause they profess than any other class of men 
on earth." 

I 2 


" Injure, Mr. D., is not the name for the evils they 
are the authors of. I look upon all such professors as 

with the badge of Satan's saintly scavengers, 

who sweep more into the recreant ranks of retrogrades 
from Christ than if they were unblushing atheists, 
exerting all their energies in undisguised antagonism 
to the living God. Give me the man who acts out 
the principles he professes, and can render an intelli- 
gent reason for such principles ; but away with the 
villainous hypocrite who can run aloft the Standard of 
the Cross before the world while secretly plunging the 
assassin's steel into the God-like bleeding victim hang- 
ing there. I feel such characters represent the most 
sublime personification the Devil can assume amongst 
this earth's crowded conceptions of iniquity ; and if 
perchance they reach the prime-vertical of social, 
theological, or political life, their influence for evil is 
incalculable — so great indeed as, I believe, must lead 
to a Satanic jubilee, when exultant votes of confi- 
dence are forged and flung around the length and 
breadth of HELL." 

" Your denunciations are more severe than I thought 
you capable of, Mr. N." 

" My reasons are strong for such bitterness, sir. I 
abhor deception as nature does a vacuum, and having 
suffered in mind, body, and estate through their Jehu- 
Chrisiianity, makes me speak with feelings of past 
suffering and present permanent loss. Yes, Mr. D., 
those to whom I refer appeared to me as if clothed in 
the heavy end of God's great commands * Thou SHALT 
NOT,' and before the wolves disclosed themselves their 
treacherous tongues had, in a manner, lapped my 
very blood, and, looking round, I found the foul print 
of their paws on every letter of my name to further 
their own vile ends." 


" You are excited, Mr. N. ; therefore we will drop 
the subject and return amongst our passengers. Have 
you done anything in the fire-brigade organiza- 

" Oh yes, all enrolled, and pretty well drilled by 
this time." 

" I think you will find it a very excellent exercise 
for your passengers." 

" Ay, sir. We have had some capital sport while 
training them.*' 

" Of what nature t " 

" I can't describe it, but will give you, or cause to 
be given, a specimen of the sport referred to ; but be- 
fore doing so it will be necessary for you to know one 
of the rules, i,e., * Whenever the fire-bell is rung all 
who do not belong to the brigade must leave the deck, 
or vicinity of the fire, so as not to interrupt the fire- 
men in the execution of their duty' Having told you 
this I will now inform the officers of a proposed alarm, 
then we will present you such a sight as you never 
had before." 

At a given sign the alarm was rung out, and as the 
startling peals burst upon the ears of the passengers, 
it produced a scene of unequalled uproar. 

The apparent confusion of four to five hundred 
startled human beings flying off the deck when the 
interpreter called out, " The house is onjire/' was truly a 
sight I shall not soon forget. 

Scarcely had I time to realize the rapidity of the 
movement ere fifty stalwart Coolies appeared around 
the supposed seat of the flames, amongst whom were 
three officers selected from the most daring, and 
dubbed with the titles of captain, first and second 
lieutenant. The captain's duty was to man the engine 
and direct the hose, while the lieutenants* forces con- 
sisted of " fire-bucket ** and " wet-blanket ** gangs. 

it8 the voyage. 

In less than three minutes from sounding the alarm, 
the water was in full play around the house. 

*' There !" said the mate, turning to me, " what think 
you of their efficiency ?" 

" I am lost in admiration of their efforts, Mr. N. 
How you have got them to such a pitch of proficiency 
in so short a time is a mystery to me." 

" It has surprised none more than myself, Mr. 

The retreat having been sounded from the boat- 
swain's " call,'* each one placed his fire-bucket in the 
bucket-rack, while the captain of the engine directed 
his machine and hose to be put in their respective 
places, a few minutes after which the Coolies were 
again on deck listening to members of the brigade 
giving a laughing and glowing description of their 
desperate efforts individually. 

" This is really an excellent organization in case of 
fire, Mr. N., and the most healthful exercise that could 
possibly have been introduced." 

" That is so, Mr. D. ; helps to keep the scurvy out 
of their rice-made bones, sir." 

" Have there been any more cases of desertion, 
Mr. N. r 

" None, sir ; but we picked up a most ingenious 
round-head a few nights ago, comfortably sailing away 
from that vessel ahead of us, which I will describe to 

" It was a beautiful clear night, with a young moon, 
at eleven ; just as the watchword sounded round the 
ship, I arose from the saloon table, where the captain 
and I had been at close combat in a game of chess. 
Having lit our cigars, we came on deck together for a 
short promenade before turning in for the night. As 
I stepped out of the pilot-house the quartermaster on 
duty was attentively gazing at some object astern 


floating away shoreward on the flood-tide. Walking 
up to him I inquired what claimed his attention ? 

" ' Something awfully like the head of a Coolie,* he 

" Obtaining the night-glasses, I looked, and there, 
sure enough, was the head of a live Coolie floating 
serenely away with the back of his nut pillowed upon 
a pretty large bundle of firewood. Thinking him one 
of ours, the boats were immediately piped away and 
in two minutes were off* to the rescue, just as I dis- 
charged the quartermaster's musket over his * bladder 
of lard ' to acquaint the owner thereof that it was 
discovered. The echo of the piece was followed by 
an expressive * Ha yah * (used as an interjection), and 
down under the surface he popped like a fish ; and a 
jolly good fin-back he proved himself too, as he did 
not reappear for nearly two minutes ; and when he did, 
it was to drop into the hands of the boat's crew, who 
caught him by the tail, picked him and his pillow up, 
and brought them on board, by which time we had 
discovered he was not of our flock. I asked the 
fellow what species of animal he imagined himself to 
be, and what region of the mighty deep was his 
cruising-ground generally. 

" ' Ah sur,' said our boatswain, who was near, * he's 
an amphabious baist ; live as well on sai as in a bog, 
will that same, sure's my name's Barney.' 

" On asking the wretch where he came from, he 
said from the ship ahead of us, and eagerly entreated 
me not to return him there, as the filth was pesti- 
lential, and the treatment brutal ; he promised, if I 
kept him on board this fine ship, to serve me to the 
death truly and devotedly." 

" An astounding promise for a Chinaman, don't you 
think, Mr. N..?" 

Not at all, sir. Give the demons their due — when 



they take a fancy to their masters they would sacrifice 
their lives willingly for them ; although this may not 
be an indigenous growth of the cursed country, still it 
is not unfrequently found beneath their barren pates." 

*' It does one's heart good, Mr. N., to hear you 
ascribe even one virtue to these our fellow-men'' 

" Fellow-men, Mr. D. t Why, sir, you surely 
don't consider a Chinaman the same order of animal 
as you are, do you } Monstrous, sir, monstrous." 

" It may appear so to you, Mr. N. ; still it does not 
alter the fact ; but apart from that, how did you dis- 
pose of the Coolie V 

" Well, the poor thing dropped his head at my feet 
in a most imploring attitude, nor would he rise from 
his marrow-bones until I promised to keep him. I 
was so much affected by the man's earnest entreaties, 
that I resolved to stick to him if possible ; this, how- 
ever, was not to be, for by daylight next morning a 
boat with the chief officer of the vessel was alongside 
for him. I delivered him up, of course (although I never 
felt more inclined to be dishonest) ; and when I did 
so, I took the opportunity of giving the said chief 
officer a general outline of our laws and regulations, 
telling him how very admirably they suited, and 
advised him strongly to adopt a few of them on board 
of his vessel. 

"*Bah!' was the opening part of this monsters 

reply, * who is going to be bothered with them d 

articles } If in case they don't toe the infernal line 

with me, by I'll print the error upon their b y 

backs with a vengeance, I swear.' 

** At the close of this delivery, Mr. D., I just looked 
the blackguard straight in the face, and intimated 
that if he had the most distant intention of swearing 
any more, he would have to leave this vessel imme- 
diately, as such conduct was a breach of the law, and 


I said, * I'll make you no exception here, take my 
honest word for that, sir. So take yourself and your 
Coolie off at once, and endeavour -to learn a more 
pleasing language from the crowd that surrounds 

" You ought to have seen the look of blank astonish- 
ment the fellow gave me as I concluded ; and as he 
stared, I just called the sentry from the gangway, 
and directed him to show the individual to his boat, 
telling him as he moved away, that I was grieved to 
think he spoke in the same tongue as myself As the 
reptile disappeared over the gangway, I could not 
help thinking that, under such transparent diabolism, 
the poor Coolie would have a very sad and truly 
* infernal * line to toe. It is such animated earthly 
demons as that who often bring about the mutinies 
we so frequently read about, Mr. D." 

" His language was certainly of the lowest type, 
Mr. N., and I can imagine his surprise when cautioned 
by you respecting it." 

"Were you to visit the fleet of ships here, Mr. D.. 
you would find many such Pandemonium pigeons 
exercising their pernicious influence on all beneath 
the vile reflection of their cursed wings, sir." 

"You have a wonderful diversity of expressive 
terms, Mr. N. Is your spare time occupied in the 
manufacture of such, or are they spontaneous pro- 
ductions } " 

" Entirely unpremeditated, Mr. D. I am fond of 
conveying my ideas in original rags ; don't you like 
them so swaddled, sir, eh V 

" I do emphatically, when I have the good fortune 
to meet with one like yourself who possesses the 
power to clothe them suitably." 

" Mr. D., bitter experience has taught me to ex- 
amine the gilded trappings of a compliment as I 


would the tattered garments of deception : a lesson, 
also, the world must have taught you, long before 

" You are not altogether wrong in that, Mr. N. 
Still we ought not to examine them all through the 
same perverted medium ; and now perhaps you will 
tell me if you have had any particular occurrences 
amongst your own Coolies.'* 

" Only one, sir, of very little interest. 

"It was a man in search of his brother who, when 
found here, stoutly affirmed his determination to 
remain, saying, * I am well fed, I am clothed, I have 
lots of fun, and not much to do ; so am happy, there- 
fore don't intend leaving my present quarters.' A 
lengthened entreaty followed, but all to no purpose ; 
so they parted, one for the shore, the other for no 
one can particularize where any farther than Peru." 

" Rather a singular case, I suppose, Mr. N. V' 

"Yes, but one which proves the poor wretches are 
sailing in the belief that such treatment awaits them 
in the land they are going to." 

" Very natural, Mr. N., to suppose that if they are 
well fed and cared for here their ultimate destiny 
cannot be so bad, after all." 

"Just so, Mr. D., and if we vice z/^rj"^ this treatment 
it will bear out some of my previous assertions with 
respect to mutiny." 

" I trust if mutiny takes place here, Mr. N., it will 
not be brought about by unjust and harsh treat- 

" There is no danger of ill-usage here, sir." 

" Are all your supplies on board ?" 

" Not quite. There are a lot of dominoes, playing 
cards, musical instruments, tobacco, cigarettes, pens, 
paper, and ink, together with a host of other * chicken 
tixin's,' which to enumerate would have broken the 


jaw of old Johnson, and set Walker and Barclay 
by the ears." 

"Are all these for the amusement and use of the 
passengers ?" 

"Yes, sir, and you included of course, that is to say. 
if you can write with a hair- brush, scrape music out 
of a one-stringed fiddle, a bottomless drum, or the 
butt-end of a Samson-post rounded off." 

"I do not understand your Samson-post remark, 
Mr. N." 

"I don't suppose you do, sir; however, you will 
comprehend the music before long, if you don't the 
expression used just now. They are (or believe them- 
selves to be) an exceedingly musical people, although 
every note they produce bursts upon the refined ear 
like a bunch of thorns, while they uproot themselves, 
and, gathering round, commence dancing to the 
hideous music like a semi-animated gathering of 
drunken milestones." 

" They will be well provided with material for pas- 
time at least." 

" Oh yes, every ship in the trade is supplied in 
some measure with such articles, so that the use of 
them may help to keep the devil out of their heads 
at sea, By-the-bye, there is to be another organi- 
zation, Mr. D., in a short time, when I hope you will 
joni m. 

** Of what nature is it .?" 

" Training the officers and crew to the use of big 
guns and small arms." 

** Most assuredly I will join you and feel pleased 
with the exercise : is this another idea of the 
captain's ?" 

** Yes, and an excellent one too ; there is also to be 
target-shooting once a week amongst the officers, 
with himself at the head ; he has decidedly resolved 


upon keeping scurvy out of the ship if healthful 
exercise will effect it, anyhow, Mr. D." 

I must now carry the reader over an uninteresting 
period of four days, during which active preparations 
for sea have been going on, and so well were they 
conducted that, on the morning of the fifth day, we 
were ready to start with 650 Coolies and fifty-six of 
a crew " all told," ship in first-class order, and, as our 
friend Mr. N. declared, not a ropeyarn out of place. 

We were awaiting the arrival of the captain, 
expecting to start forthwith, but were disappointed — 
not to say surprised — at his reluctance to do so when 
he came on board. 

"Are you all ready for sea V said he to the mate. 

** Yes, sir, all ready." 

" How much chain are you riding to ?" 

" We have picked up the port anchor, and hove 
short on the starboard to fifteen fathoms, sir." 

"Give her five fathoms more chain," said the 
captain, " and let your men lie back for the remainder 
, of the day, holding themselves in readiness against 

" Very good, sir," said the mate, and issued his 
orders ; then turning to me said, " There is some 
jolly good reason for this delay, and I should just 
like to know it ; but I suppose that is utterly impos- 
sible, as he is one of those men who never let their 
right hand know what the left foot thinketh fit to kick." 

" In my opinion, Mr. N., it is the only way to 
govern well, providing the ruler possess all necessary 
resource within himself" 

" We will shelve that, Mr. D., as a matter of opinion 
and nothing more, sir." 

The day passed quietly away, and many an anxious 
face was to be seen looking wistfully toward the 
shore they soon were to leave, perhaps for ever. One 


intelligent-looking face, luminous with sadness, I 
watched until I fancied I could hear him breathing 
in low cadence the measure of Tennyson's " Farewell 
to the Brook," saying as he gazed shoreward over the 
sparkling waters — 

** Roll op, ye billows, to the shore, 
Thy bursting waves deliver ; 
No more by thee my steps may be 
For evei- and for ever. " 

At 6 p.m. the Coolies were piped down, except the 
fifty who were on ship duty. At seven the moon 
appeared, and by eight o'clock on a lovely November 

evening the gallant ship A was under full press 

of canvas, ploughing her silent course through the 
water "like a thing of life." 

" She slips very quietly along," said I, addressing 
the captain. 

" Yes," was the reply, " as if conscious that she is 
bearing from their homes several hundred stolen 
human beings, and afraid to awaken the muffled 
murmurs of the whispering deep lest they breathe an 
opening curse upon her voyage." 

" She would not have been much farther on, even 
had we left in the morning, Captain B., seeing the 
wind has been so light during the day." 

" I would nevertheless have left, had reasons not 
existed for remaining, those reasons being, first, to 
give the crew a day's rest prior to a night of hard 
labour, for by dawn to-morrow this vessel must be in 
as good order as any other ordinary ship after a 
month at sea. My second reason was to prevent the 
feelings of the Coolies, on leaving their native land, 
being deepened by gazing at the receding shore." 

" Those like yourself, who have so often experienced 
the feeling, can understand the influence and power 
it has, or is likely to have, on others." 


"It was its influence and power I was guardia 
against as affecting the emigrants ; and now, wheir 
they awaken to-morrow, there will be no land to gaz^ 
upon — in fact, we shall be fully a hundred miles at^ 
sea ; then all that remains for them to say, whe 
casting a glance over the boundless flood, will 
* My native land, good-night' " 

" Very poetical and sadly true. Captain B/' 

'* And exceedingly to the point, Mr. D. It will 
a long good-night for all, and for very many the las 
adieu to their native land. The night gets cold,* 
continued the captain, "therefore come below ana 
join me in a glass of warm grog." 

After seating ourselves at table. Captain B. pull 
from his pocket a sealed letter, saying, " I had thi 
missive enclosed to me to-day by some person u 
known, with instructions not to open it until clear c 
the land ; and as we are now getting rapidly into th 
blue waters of the China Sea, Mr. D., we will 
what it contains." 

As he read the despatch the blood forsook his fac^ 
and an expression of terrible meaning darkened hxs 
usually genial countenance. He re-read it, then tossed 
it across the table to me, saying, " Read that, Mr. D., 
but let not the contents disturb your peace of mind, 
for, as I live, the villains will find in me an interesting 

The letter ran thus : — 

" Macao, 

" Captain B. 

" Dear Sir, — The greatest portion of your 
crew, consisting of Italian, Greek, and Spanish 
desperadoes — I have just now learned — have entered 
into a compact here, and sworn to take the ship from 
you when off* the Australian continent You will 
please accept this intimation as coming from one who 


is an entire stranger to yoM personally^ but who never- 
theless is sufficiently acquainted with your individual 
diaracter to raise that esteem which words often fail 
to express. 

"Thus forewarned, I feel you will prove yourself 
equal to the murderous crew, the leader of whom — by 
the way — is a powerful, close-cut, black-bearded 
Italian, on whom nature has indelibly branded the 
name of Ruffian. You will also find that they are 
armed to the teeth, at least so runs the report which 
reached me by pure accident Adieu. 
** Wishing you God speed, 

" I am, dear Sir, 

"An Italian who respects you." 

" What do you think of the matter } " said I, after 
studiously perusing the letter. 

" That intimation," replied the captain, " has con- 
firmed suspicions which took possession of my mind 
some time ago, and now it remains for me to subvert 
their measures by stratagem ; " concluding by calling 
the officers around him, whom he addressed in the 
following terms : — 

" Gentlemen, circumstances compel me to take 
possession of all your instruments of navigation. You 
will also put away the log-Hne and glasses, nor attempt 
at any time to find the speed of the vessel. It is my 
intention to navigate the ship alone, nor do I wish 
her position known to any member of the crew until 
I return to you your sextants." 

*' There is one of the seamen supplied with sextant 
and instruments of navigation," said the chief officer. 

** What is that man's name t " 

" He goes by the name of Pedro, sir, and appears a 
sort of man-in-hand to that cut-throat-looking Greek 
or Italian, I know not which, but who will have to 


be taken down a peg if he don't cease his blustering 
conduct amongst the crew." 

" Mr. N.," said the captain, " it is necessary for me 
to tell you of an intimation which has reached me 
to the effect that a number of the crew have engaged 
to mutiny and take the ship when off the coast of 
Australia, and the person you speak of is mentioned 
as being the leader of the conspiracy ; therefore you 
will endeavour to handle them in a manner calculated 
to ensure quietness until we reach the South Indian 
Ocean, after which we will treat the ruffians in a way 
they may not dream of; and as it would be impru- 
dent to arouse their suspicions at present, you will — 
with the aid of the interpreter — so organize your 
constables that, when circumstances require, their 
services can be relied upon ; and furthermore, before 
we clear the Straits of Sunda you will, on the first 
opportunity, obtain a look at the sextant you spoke 
of, Which you will {inadvertently) render useless ; then 
tell the owner thereof that you will pay him its full 
value on arrival at Peru. I think these arrangements 
are all we can make in the meantime ; and as our crew 
consists of men from every nation in Europe and the 
Republics of South America, unanimous co-operation 
will be difficult, and which will be rendered still more 
improbable by their inability to discover the ship's 

After dismissing the chief officer we sat till the 
" small hours," discussing the matter in all its intricate 
bearings, which revealed — in the captain — an amount 
of perception, forethought, and knowledge of human 
nature I did not expect to find. 

Tired at length, we adjourned to our respective 
cabins, where you will kindly leave us, and meet us 
again to-morrow, D.V., on the dark waters of the 
China Sea. 


Contains our Passage down the China Sea. 

All was life and activity long before I awoke next 
morning to feel that we were tumbling about in some 
direction, but I could not by any course of reasoning 
precisely determine as to the nature of that particular 
direction, nor, in fact, the exact locality of myself. I 
lay for some time listening with becoming dread to 
the noise without, and the groans of the timbers as 
they pinched each other at every roll of the '* mountain 
pines,** together with the lamentable wailings of each 
partition, pouring forth a wild burst of deep feeling 
over the unceasing " Rock-the-cradle-John " sort of 
work the gallant ship had betaken herself to. 

I have performed many sea voyages in the course 
of my travels, but not before on board an American- 
built ship, and if this be the ocean jubilee of each, all 
I can say respecting it is that the noisy triumph of 
the builder is complete, for I verily believed the great 
floating pile was rejoicing in every joint — my only 
fear was lest a few over-delighted treenails might leap 
out of the ponderous organ, and suddenly stop the 
music of the whole. 

As I lay gathering a resolution to get up, bang 
went something in the adjoining cabin. I listened. 
It was only a door broke loose and taking a little 
animated exercise before breakfast ; however, it was 
a little too near my head to be pleasant, and as no 
one appeared to be at hand, I resolved to get up and 



secure it. I had scarcely shelved my determination 
ere another crash was fervently dealt within a foot of 
my ear. I consequently sprang from my bed to fasten 
it, dress, and go on deck ; but, O ye naval gods ! had 
I known what was in store for me after alighting from 
my " shelf," I might still be found lying there unde- 
termined ; however, I have got over it in comparative 
safety ; and it was a getting over it too, for no sooner 
had I reached the cabin deck and got one leg into 
my "continuations," than a heavy roll of the ship 
succeeded. I made a grasp at the edge of my bed to 
prevent my falling to leeward, but missing my mark, 
and losing my presence of mind, I was hurled at a 
furious tangent through the side-cabin doorway, over 
the saloon table, on my back, kicking the swing-tray, 
and smashing the glasses as I passed under them, and 
ultimately landed heels up, and head into a terrified 
spittoon, whose sides went crack at the unusual weight 
and nature of the deposit. 

" Hallo, Mr. D.," said the captain (who heard the 
noise on deck, and put his head through the open 
skylight, laughing heartily at the spectacle I pre- 
sented), "have you not music enough down there 
without your involuntary contributions.? Are you 
hurt, sir } You must have awoke with a high sense 
of unworthiness to cause you to apply your head in 
that manner to such a vile purpose." 

" No, Captain B., I am not much hurt, although 
thus rudely touched with a flying and tangible im- 
pression of my nautical incompetence." 

Very soon the chief steward made his appearance, 
looking as black as possible at the smashing of his 
beautiful champagne and claret glasses, but neverthe- 
less expressing his sorrow at my mishap, not for- 
getting to drop a hint with (as I thought) peculiar 
emphasis to the effect that I had, with my unlucky 


head, rendered the aforesaid article into which it 
dropped almost useless. 

" Never mind the damage," I replied ; " place it to 
my account, and rejoice with me that the head has 
escaped uninjured." 

After gathering myself up I crawled toward my 
pantaloons, which had been forcibly dragged off my 
one leg by the corner of the swing-tray before alluded 
to in my transit across the table. 

Having recovered possession, I proceeded to make 
use of them on a pair of extremities which could not — 
by any course of coaxing — be brought to believe in a 
perpendicular position, although I feel assured they 
did their very utmost towards it. 

" Hallo," said the mate (entering the saloon just as 
I was brought a second time to the level of my boot- 
soles), " division of opinion amongst your timbers this 
morning, Mr. D. You ought to know by this time that 
'a house divided against itself can't stand,* sir. It ap- 
plies equally to the carcase of a man, you must know." 
" My head is aware of the fact, Mr. N. ; but all 
below the trunk seems determined to rebel." 

"Verticalize yourself once more, Mr. D., and reason 
the matter quietly with the ungovernable members ; 
your head is sure to come off successful in the end." 

"I fear it will, Mr. N., if the rebellious faction 
horizontalize it many more times on the cabin deck." 
'* That was not what I meant, Mr. D. ; but try 
again, sir, and if it survive the third downfall, the 
superiority of the block will be established beyond a 

I did try again, and after sundry attempts and 
almost as many failures, I ultimately succeeded, and 
in the end found myself seated on the poop deck a 
great deal more comfortable, and much more steady 
than in the saloon. 



" Good morning," said the captain, as I appeared. 
" Are you sea-sick ? " he added. 

" No," I replied ; " I was on my first voyage, but not 
since. It is simply my legs which appear to have no 
notion of bending to their duty; they feel as stubborn 
about the knee-joints as wooden stumps ; there is no 
straightforward action in them at all ; the result is, if ^ 
I get up, they bring me down ; and again, if they at- 
tempt to move, I immediately lose my equilibrium ; 
consequently I have concluded that, between myself 
and my legs, there is a danger of the person getting 
his head broken. In fact, the catastrophe was all but 
brought about a few minutes ago over the saloon table, 
and, indeed, would have been, I believe, but for the 
thickness of it, and softness of the article I placed it 
in, or rather into which it plunged." 

" You created music enough, anyhow, Mr. D., when 
performing the feat" 

** What is the cause of so much creaking and groan- 
ing in the furniture, fittings, and timbers of the ship, 
Captain B. ? " 

"The superincumbent weight of this long heavy 
poop and quarter-boats, a soft-wood ship, and the 
way American vessels are generally put together when 
built for the market, as this one was ; but what think 
you of the weather, Mr. D, } A spanking breeze and 
glorious morning, is it not t " 

" It is indeed. What is she going, Captain R ? " 

" About thirteen and a-half, sir." 

Finding myself a seat on the fore part of the poop 
deck, I soon became occupied in watching the volumi- 
nous expressions in the faces of our Coolies, many of 
whom seemed pleased at the prospects opening out 
before them ; others, appeared as if making up their 
minds for a sanguinary conflict, while a third portion 
were seated on the rails watching the vessel thundering 


along through the sparkling foam, feeling that every 
howl of the favouring gale was widening apace the 
distance between the home of their childhood and 
them, and those whom they love in the land of their 
birth; the love of home so strongly marked on the 
face of each as proved that they were suffering 
martyrdom in thus being dragged from their father- 

At this moment the first doctor made his appearance 
with the report of a Coolie's death. 

" Of what did he die ? " asked the captain, 

^ Apoplexy, sir." 

" What is his age and number ? '* 

"Age twenty-nine, and number 17, sir." 

" Was he an opium-smoker } " 

" Yes, sir." 

" I will examine him," concluded the captain. 
" Come, take my arm," said he to me, " and have a 
look at Death's first visit." 

We went to the hospital, and, finding life extinct, 
he was ordered to be buried at once. 

The operation of burial is performed in the follow- 
ing manner. The corpse is laid out on the coarse bed- 
rug provided them for sleeping under, after which 
every article of clothing is brought and placed beside 
it ; it is then rolled up inside of all and placed upon a 
piece of old canvas, in which it is sewn by the sail- 
maker. This done, it is next taken on the forecastle 
deck and launched into the sea feet first, and if the 
deceased had any friends during life they are to be 
found standing (after having placed a few coins in his 
winding-sheet) ready to toss a few more after him as 
he drops into the deep, declaring they will be of ser- 
vice to him when he awakens. With these few remarks 
we will leave the sailmaker doing the last service to a 
fellow-mortal, and find our way to the poop. 


By the time we got aft the dead man had been cast 
forth, and, the reaction bringing him to the surface 
under the captain's eye, he said, pointing, "There, 
Mr. D., the place that once knew him will know him 
no more for ever. With that spectacle before me," he 
continued, " the very wind seems howling in my ear 
the ominous admonition, Prepare to die, and yet I 
often think PREPARE ! For v^hat ? " 

" There appears to be a very thoughtful and serious 
mixture in your composition, Captain B., altogether 
out of harmony with the trade you are now engaged 
in. I think some other more congenial employment 
would suit you better. Do you not think so your- 
self .? " 

" I never trouble thinking much about it, Mr. D. ; 
my duty is to grapple sternly (yet kindly) with the 
surrounding circumstances amongst which I may be 
placed, act an honest and upright part therein, and 
look forward to satisfactory and pleasing results ac- 
cruing therefrom ; such, sir, are the principles which 
guide me in all my undertakings." 

" And such as are most calculated to produce the 
best results, Captain B." 

As the day advanced so also swelled the list of sea- 
sick victims, and to such an alarming extent that by 
sundown five hundred sufferers were on the list. 

Reader, were you ever sea-sick } 


Then you have yet to learn the nature of a disease 
which, above all others, renders one's existence a most 
lamentable endurance. 

May you never groan under it, as I have done, unless 
it be to benefit you constitutionally, as it certainly 
does many. 

At eight o'clock I visited the 'tween decks, where 
the scene was painful beyond description. 


The peculiar sensation felt under sea-sickness I be- 
lieve has puzzled philosophers and doctors of all ages 
to describe ; my own feelings when under the malady 
I can only convey an idea of by saying that I would 
almost have looked a benediction to any one who (out 
of compassion) would have tossed me overboard in 
order to smother the indescribable feeling in the bosom 
of the sufferer from the disease. 

Sickening at the sights around me, I went on deck, 
where, meeting the captain, he assured me that twenty- 
four hours would find the majority of them cured, 
alleging that their simple mode of living was favour- 
able to a speedy recovery. 

On reaching the poop I found Mr. N. in charge of 
the ship. As I approached him he was attentively 
examining (with the aid of night-glasses) some object 
or objects ahead of the vessel. 

" What claims your attention in that direction ? " 
I inquired. 

" A fleet of junks, Mr. D., which vividly recalls to 
my mind a piratical circumstance I promised to re- 
count to you when time and opportunity permitted ; 
so now if you care to hear it (as the incidents are all 
fresh upon my memory), haul your wind alongside of 
me, keeping your recently unmanageable what-you- 
call-*ems under subjection, and on your promise not to 
run athwart my hawse while we walk the deck to- 
gether I will give you the account, which is an 
interesting one. 

" It was precisely at this hour I relieved the officer 
in charge of a smart clipper barque of 450 tons 
register, bound for Shanghai from Hong Kong, which 
latter place we left early on the day preceding the 
night of the occurrence. 

" We were, as near as I remember, about sixty 
miles the other side of the Islands on the nisrht in 


question, when, after being a few minutes on deck, I 
took the night-glasses as usual to scan the horizon in 
order to assure myself on taking charge that nothing 
was in sight. I took a rough look round, then a 
searching one, when, lo, I beheld four pretty large 
junks ahead of us, the positions of which looked rather 
suspicious, they being so placed as to allow us a com- 
fortable passage between the four. Not liking their 
appearance, I called the captain's attention to them. 
He was an old stager on the coast, and had been an 
officer in the royal navy to boot. On placing the 
glasses to his eyes and examining them for some 
time, he turned round and coolly said, * These are 
pirates, Mr. N.' He watched them attentively a few 
minutes longer, and as coolly observed, * They are pre- 
paring to board us, I believe.' 

" Well, thought I, old blow-hard, you seem to take 
it mighty easy, and no mistake about it. At length 
he said, * Get all your globe-lamps on board lighted, 
then carry them under cover and place one between 
each gun-port, after which point your four loaded guns 
at the after ports and the artillery imitations forward 
at the remaining ones, and while doing all this see 
that you neither show a light nor make the slightest 
noise until I give the order to uncover the lamps and 
run the guns out, as I beat to quarters. 

" * Immediately that order is given, let it be executed 
like lightning, sir,' said he, ' making at the same time 
bustle enough to convey the impression that we are a 

" By the time all was ready (which took a precious 
short period, you may depend) there was scarcely any 
wind, making it all the easier for the execution of 
their diabolical designs. 

" Well, sir, we came sailing up amongst them 
quietly, while the plucky old captain stood listening 


with eager attention for the first word of command 
which might proceed from the junks, in order — as he 
said — to spot the whereabouts of the commander of 
this expedition of blood and plunder. 

" He had not long to wait before the order sounded 
in our ears to * close upon us.' No sooner was that 
command issued to the junks than it was followed by 
our captain leaping toward one of the guns with a 
roll on a drumhead, and giving the order to uncover, 
the lamps and stand by the guns. It operated like 
an electric shock, sir. The roll of drum, the blaze of 
light, and guns run out with such precision, produced 
from every side a multitude of interjections, and the 
words, sounding over the still sea, * Retreat, it is a 
ship of war.* After which the villains got their long, 
sweeping oars to work, and in less than fifteen minutes 
were lost in the darkness." 

*' Then you did not require to use your guns after 
all, Mr. N., proving that 'wisdom was strength' in 
your case." 

" That is all very fine, Mr. D. ; although we did not 
require to use them, it does not follow that we did not 

" Did you really open fire upon them .?" 

" I should rather think we did, sir ; and, by thunder, 
the captain, immediately he spotted the junk which 
carried the villainous commander, leaped to the near- 
est gun (an eighteen-pounder) and brought it to bear 
upon the flying wretch, and oh, such havoc it pro- 
duced, Mr. D. I fancy even now that I can hear the 
shrieks of the wounded and dying after the shot 
passed through the high stern, scattering death and 
fire amongst the bloodthirsty crew. 

" When the smoke cleared away we discovered the 
junk was on fire. Not satisfied with that, the old man 
brought the next charge to bear upon his flying comr 


panion, who (regardless of the screams from the 
blazing and fast-sinking junk's crew) were retreating 
with a speed iniquitous cowardice alone can pro- 

" * I will keep up a blank cannonading for a few 
minutes/ said the captain to me, 'while you lower 
and man the boat, and go off to the rescue of those 
drowning demons that we may have further satisfaction 
out of them/ 

" Following up the commands, I went off, with a 
well-armed boat's crew and a supply of handcuffs, 
toward the wreck. 

" We had not time, however, to reach it before the 
blazing mass went down, leaving behind it darkness 
blacker than the night itself" 

" Did you save any of them V 

** Only one, and he was mortally wounded ; we 
picked him up clinging, almost exhausted, to a 
broken spar. When we got him on board we ad- 
ministered a revivery after which we obtained the 
following particulars from him. He said the four 
junks were ostensibly fishing craft and were equipped 
as such, but having received instructions from their 
patron (a Chinaman of wealth and position at Hong 
Kong) to board and plunder a ship whose description 
we bore, they were simply obeying his commands in 
the sad work of the night. We, of course, gave no 
credence to this statement at the time, but since the 
hanging of that wealthy Chinaman at Hong Kong the 
other week for his direct connection with pirates I am 
now convinced the dying man's statements were too 
true. You remember the villain I refer to, Mr. D. ?" 

*' Yes, I saw him hung." 

** Well, sir, we asked the wretch why they did not 
board us. 

" * We took you for a ship of war ; otherwise, we 


should have taken you and left none to tell the tale, 
according to our instructions/ 

" * What became of the rest of the crew ?' asked the 

" * But four escaped,- he replied, and continued, 
' That fatal shot which struck us passed through the 
stern, killed and wounded twelve men, burst a keg of 
gunpowder, and disappeared through the fore part 
below the water-line.' 

"*Give him a little more weak brandy,' said the 
captain ; after administering which he revived a little, 
but only to be able to answer the following, viz., that 
the daring commander went down in the junk a dead 
man, while two or three escaped in the sa7n-pan; and 
also to a question as to whether those said fishing 
junks often engaged in catching such fish, he looked 
up through the agonies of death and breathed in a 
gurgling whisper an affirmative *Ha,' as his vile 
jaws closed in the last throe of physical torture." 

"An exciting occurrence, Mr. N. Was the vessel 
you were on board of English } " 

" She flew the British ensign, and was owned by 
the captain." 

" What report did you make of the case on arrival 
at Shanghai t " 

" Ah, that is the point, Mr. D. The old man did 
not exactly approve of his conduct after cooling down 
and considering the matter over ; in fact, he felt that 
it was not (at least would not appear) justifiable upon 
inquiry, as there existed no proofs of their being 
pirates, any further than the captain's knowledge of 
their language, and hearing the order given to * close 
upon us.' " 

" You had also the depositions of the dead man, 
Mr. N." 

" True, sir, but lest it might cause delay and trouble 


we agreed to say nothing about it, and having a 
mixed crew of Malays and Lascars there was no 
danger in that quarter ; so you see, sir, the old man's 
valiant deed was never published to the world as it 
ought to have been, seeing it was the prettiest 
piece of strategy ever conceived outside the circle of 

" Do those pirates ever attack vessels of large 
tonnage ? " 

" Scarcely ever known, sir ; seldom attempt any- 
thing over 500 tons. Too difficult to board, and 
more resistance." 

** Where are those junks we are now passing 
steering for } " 

" They are looking toward the Gulf of Siam." 

** Have you ever been to Bangkok, the capital of 
Siam } " 

" Once, and I shall not forget it in a hurry either, 
as being the longest and most dreary passage I ever 
made under a blistering sun, fifty days from Anger 
Point. It is always a tedious journey during the 
change of monsoons." 

" We shall touch at Anger, I presume, on our way 
through the Straits of Sunda ? " 

" Yes, to refill our water, which will occupy some 
little time if the weather be not propitious, and cost a 
considerable amount too in our case." 

" Is water expensive at Anger } " 

*' I consider it so, sir. It is a Government monopoly, 
and being the only watering place on the voyage, they 
just exactly make ships pay — what I call through 
the nose — for it : one dollar per hundred gallons, 
which brings it to about a halfpenny per gallon." 

** Precisely, Mr. N. When do you calculate arriving 
there } " 

" In less than three weeks at most, and I shall be 


glad when Java is far behind, for then there is very 
little fear of any disturbance breaking out amongst 
the round-heads afterwards. The sight of the land 
tends to stir up the mutinous bile, don't you see, sir ? 
but after we leave Java, no more terra firma till the 
mountains of South America heave in sight — at least, 
I hope not." 
" It will be a long time ere they appear, Mr. N. } " 
" About ninety days from Anger, or thereabouts." 
Having worked out Mr. NJs prognostications 
respecting the length of the voyage, we will, in the 
meantime, take them for what they may be worth, and 
I promise you the next interview with our Coolies 
after we leave Anger. 

Meanwhile, as I have long promised our friend Mr. 
N. an account of some more of my own travels about 
the world, we will devote a whole chapter to this until 
we arrive, trusting the same may interest and amuse, 
if not instruct, the reader. 


My Voyage through the Mediterranean. 

"In giving you the result of my observations in the 
Mediterranean, Mr. N., I need hardly ask if you have 
ever been there, as I take it for granted." 

" I have been in every blessed corner of it, Mr. D. ; 
so none of your travellers' yarns, you know, as they 
won't go down with this boy." 

" I will confine myself to giving you the result of 
my observations, Mr. N., and challenge the world to 
gainsay any statement I advance." 

" All right, sir ; pray proceed." 

"The cold, stormy months of winter had just 
opened their wild echoes around our bleak shores 
when I left England in a steamer for a few months' 
cruise in the milder temperature of the Mediterranean. 

"After being three days at sea, we returned dis- 
abled. Repaired, and sailed again ; and after a 
stormy passage of eleven days, succeeded in reaching 
Gibraltar, which I found (after a few years' absence) 
looking more formidable than ever, frowning in dark 
significance amid its adamantine battlements. 

" A few hours sufficed us there, when we sailed for 
Malta, the harbour of which is entered by what might 
be termed a * crack in the wall,' and opens imme- 
diately into a grand panoramic area, presenting one 
of the loveliest natural formations that ever keel 
sailed through ; while the town, romantic in its ap- 
pearance, forms a grand winter retreat for British 


invalids, and is frequently made the head-quarters of 
many of them during the cold season of the year. 

" Coaling there, we sailed for Piraeus, the seaport of 
Athens, in which latter place I spent some time 
visiting the ruins, and searching for a fair damsel to 
represent, iii some measure, the * maid ' of Byronial 
song ; but how miserably I failed in finding this 
object of a romantic imagination the sequel will 
prove. I looked around for classic beauty in the 
crowds, but could not discover it ; for chiselled sym- 
metry alive, but it was not there. No, there is very 
little in Athens worthy the attention of the tourist, 
except the tumbling temples of the gods, with their 
classical associations, and the exquisite sculpture of a 
thousand years. 

" The city itself is a clean, busy enough place of 
its kind, with a mixed multitude of industrious and 
enterprising inhabitants. 

" Its architecture is commonplace to a degree, in- 
cluding the spotless marble palace of King George, 
which is simply a square two-story pile of masonry 
unadorned by any exterior embellishments whatever. 

" The Queen — whom I had the satisfaction to see 
closely — is a lovely creature of middle height, with 
more of the Romano-Greek than the Russ about her. 
She seemed to be much beloved by her admiring 
subjects as she drove along bowing and smiling 
graciously to the uncovered spectators, preceded by a 
solitary, well-mounted individual in livery and boots, 
brandishing a naked side-arm to and fro, in token of 
the illustrious personage in the rear occupying an 
ordinary barouche and pair. 

" Passing on from the royal presence, we visited the 
temples of Minerva, Jupiter, Theseus, the sites of 
St. Paul's and the theatre of Bacchus, in which latter 
place nothing remains save a few specimens of ancient 


sculpture, amongst which is a representation in marble 
of the jovial voluptuary himself grinning over the 
sparkling contents of a flowing bowl. 

" From the temple of Minerva the view is magnifi- 
cent, as it stands upon a lofty eminence behind and 
overlooking the city ; on reaching the top of which 
we entered, and after scrambling over and amongst 
the fallen heaps of Minerva's ancient greatness, we at 
length reached the foot of what had once been a spiral 
staircase, now the only dilapidated medium of com- 
munication with the top : ascending this, and thread- 
ing our way over the mighty marble beams which 
connect the columns (some of which weigh over ten 
tons), we reached the highest accessible point of this 
roofless ruin, on which I chiselled an unillustrious 
name, looked down upon the prospect far below re- 
flecting a blaze of glory under the noonday sun, and 
then descended to crawl for an hour or more amongst 
the heaps at its base. 

" Though fast crumbling to decay, this stupendous 
remnant of architectural magnificence looks sur- 
passingly grand, even amidst its dibris of long ages. 

"The temple of Jupiter next claimed our attention, 
of which nothing remains except a few shattered 
fluted Corinthian columns, and arch of what ap- 
parently had been the principal gate entrance to this 
sacred compound. 

"Passing from these we visited the temple of Theseus, 
a portion of which is still intact, and filled {alias 
crammed) with broken sculpture in marble, the pro- 
duct of ancient days, examining which proves to the 
most indifferent observer how little progress the 
moderns have made in the art of arts, 

" Leaving this small unpretending structure (held 
sacred to the memory of an Athenian monarch 
mythologically classed as a renowned hero of antiquity 


whose name it bears), we directed our steps, toward 
the dungeon of Socrates, a prison cut in the face of ;v 
low cliff, where — on dit — this famed founder of moral 
philosophy in Greece was incarcerated for having* 
dared to live in advance of his age, for holding- 
opinions and propagating theories out of harmony 
with the generally accepted notions, of his con- 

" Tired at length of burrowing amongst those relics 
of a dark yet enlightened age,, we drove off to lunch,. 
then spent the afternoon moving about to and fro 
amongst the ^lite of the city, who turn out en masse 
on this particular day (Sunday) to see and be seen, 
as also to. enjoy a musical entertainment provided by 
a military band, performing in a neat orchestra in the 
centre of Palace Square, an unpaved, but spacious 
promenade of fashion into which several of the prin- 
cipal streets converge. The leading hotels are also 
here bordering one side and angle, while the opposite 
is charmingly protected by a dense orange^rove, with 
an active central fountain, looking down upon whicli 
in the background stands tlie palace itself. 

" During our promenade you will be surprised to 
learn that, amongst the numerous assemblage of the 
fair ones, present, we scarce could find a * beauty* in 
the vast crowd worthy the admiration of a Britoiv,. 
much less a Byron.. This was (to me at least) a sa«L 
disappointment, but since its origin might have 
existed in our inability to judge, we bore our dis-- 
appointment kindly, without blowing our brains, 
about, and departed from this famed city pleased, 
gratified, but disappointed ; nor do I know of any 
other city in the world so well calculated to interest 
the tourist as the one we have just left. Every stone 
in her ruined temples becomes alive to him ; spirits 
of the past glide before him, conversing in a language 



the classical scholar is well fitted to enjoy, and while 
enjoying, he cannot fail to perceive how emblematical 
of the land which gave those crumbling ruins birth : 
recalling that period in which Greece lived, the envy 
of the world, producing men whose minds shone out 
coequal with the gods ; but now, alas I like the pillars 
of her famed temples, she exists, a broken reed, sup- 
ported by the stranger — a dot amongst the nations of 
the earth which one scarce can find. What trans- 
cendent retrogression is visible there ! 

" Shaking the dust of Piraeus from our feet, we 
sailed for Syra, a clean little Grecian town (on the 
island of that name), with 45,000 industrious and 
shrewd business people. The town is romantically 
built, I might say, on the face of twin hills looking 
down upon the harbour, and commanding a magnifi- 
cent view of the surrounding sea. 

" A very short stay sufficed us here, then off to 
Smyroa, a city of Turkish filth and indolence, with 
miserable streets and architecture, and more miserable 
native inhabitants. 

'*The suburban surroundings, however — where 
villas of the wealthy are scattered about — are all that 
could be desired as a temporary place of abode. 

" Passing from thence, we next visited Salonica (or 
Thessalonica), of Testamental note, which city pre- 
sents another sad proof of maladministration and 
Turkish misrule ; the leading feature and product of 
which everywhere seems to be local municipal poverty, 
clad in the quintessence of unmacadamized dirt. 
Many of the streets here are simply right of way 
rutSy apparently untouched since the days of the 
Apostle Paul, or peradventure of Noah. In short, 
looking around for the first time, one is irresistibly 
driven to the conclusion that the drying up of the 
* Deluge* left behind it an unclean spirit to war 


against the approaches of sanitary reform. The sub- 
limely indolent Arab, and his crooked contemporary 
the dromedary, are the only growths which appear to 
luxuriate, deep-rooted amongst their primeval filth, 
both of whom examine the Christian with that mag- 
nanimously Mahommedan look of mixed pity and 
contempt due to all * Infidels : ' the latter especially 
one cannot help noticing, as his intellectual survey 
impresses you with the belief that it would afford him 
an infinite amount of amusement and gratification to 
toss his agitated hump at the head of the apparently 
distasteful lump of modern civilization. 

" Leaving this corrupted nest of hangers on to 
customs of the past, we sailed for Constantinople, a 
city of mosques, Mahommedans, mud, misery, and 
dogs — not a very charming collection certainly. Still 
I must, in the interests of truth and justice, render it 
yet more disagreeable by adding a liberal decoction 
of foreign harbour thieves and midnight city robbers, 
then the villainous compound is truthfully complete. 
All that now remains to finish a flying sketch of this 
mighty Babylon is a description of the musical enter- 
tainment provided nightly by the four-footed portion 
of the populace, which falls upon a stranger*s ear with 
more hideous emphasis than the howl of the jackal 
on the banks of the Ganges. 

" The first chorus I listened to started the idea that 
Pluto was abroad stalking through the surrounding 
darkness with a lively host of canine monsters of the 
Cerberus order at his heels, all gone barking mad, 
consequent upon a temporary release from the con- 
fines of Hades. Such is the nightly musical tribula- 
tion of this putrid, unwashed centre of surface-sewers 
and dog-kennels ; therefore we will leave it ere the 
setting of another sun, and thread our way through 
the windings of the beautiful Bosphorus, the only 

L 2 


clean thoroughfare the nation can boast of, and which 
is studded on either side with princely palaces and 
pig-sties in amorous contiguity. 

" Two hours of this pictorial contrast, and we enter 
the Black Sea, and in as many days reach Odessa, 
amidst frost, snow, and semi-torpid Russians, with the 
usual odours peculiar to the muffled winter torpidity 
of this very peculiar people. 

"The town itself is clean, well ordered and laid 
out, with wide thoroughfares and comfortable archi- 
tecture of the peculiar order, 

" It possesses at the same time quite an array of 
those whom the poet in his ecstasy denominated 
* Creator's glory and man's chief blessing.' Having 
been present at an important marriage ceremony in 
one of the cathedrals, where a dense multitude of 
Eve's envious daughters were assembled, enables me 
to give you this Httle item of information to *THE 


*' Besides the native element, its inhabitants com- 
prise many enterprising Continentals, and likewise 
British, with a Grecian mixture, mostly engaged in 
the grain trade. Having told you this, Mr. N., I feel 
myself and subject exhausted, and trust you are for 
the present satisfied. If not, my reply would be, you 
ought, seeing that we have crossed the edge of Biscay 
together, stood within the shadow of *The Rock/ 
visited Malta, climbed the ruins of Athens, examined 
the classical beauties of Greece^ the filth and indo- 
lence of Turkey, breathed the surrounding odours of 
a Russian unwashed, and the frost of his untempered 
winter. Having done so, it now only remains for 
me to hear your comments upon my tour of descrip- 

** It is A I, Mr. D. ; but by Jupiter's broken Corinth- 
ians ! if that be the way you always rush your hearers 


over the earth's crust, I must confess my inability to 
keep pace with you. You left me perched on the top 
of Minerva's ruined walls, sir, examining a few ten- 
ton blocks of marble. I can't get over without a little 
more of your valuable assistance." 

" Let that be no obstacle, Mr. N., as there are many 
much heavier blocks than those in the structure, 
although I have not presented them to your notice." 

" All right, Mr. D. ; then we won't try to pocket 
any of them. I shall require to have a second cruise 
with you over the same ground ; however, as you 
have crammed matter sufficient into the sketch to 
dose a three-volume-devouring British public, all that 
it wants is simply stretching out and filling in by an 
able romancer." 

"You may rely implicitly upon the truth of the 
description, at least, Mr. N." 

" Don't doubt a word of it, sir, having done a little 
navigating over most of the ground myself in brighter 
days of the past." 


We arrive at and sail from Anger, and leave the Straits of Sunda 

all well. 

As we are now lying under the shadow of Anger Hill, 
and having finished a truthful account of my trip 
through the Mediterranean, we will proceed — on the 
same principle — to record the varying incidents of our 
present cruise, believing and knowing that, if a good 
name is to be established amongst our fellow-men, 
there is no surer way by which to obtain it than by 
proving that our very existence is rolled up in TRUTH, 
and worked out upon this, the noblest principle in 

Upon this principle, therefore, we will proceed on 
the voyage, the first part of which has been satis* 
factorily performed in sixteen days, twenty hours ; 
having had during that period two rather significant 
occurrences which were dealt with by the captain in a 
manner to satisfy the most daring that he was one 
with whom trifling had no place ; fearless in emer- 
gencies, decisive in action, just and generous, but 
severe when occasion required, a warm-hearted friend, 
a charitable and merciful foe. 

The first of these occurrences was with the emi- 
grants, when he rushed down alone to the 'tween 
decks — where a regular insurrection had apparently 
broken out — and seized one of the most noisy leaders 
of the mob by the tail, while his sudden and dauntless 
appearance on the scene of conflict had the effect of 
dispersing the whole crowd in quietness to their 


respective quarters, after which he brought the 
captured man on deck, who reported the cause of the 
outbreak to be the severityof several of the constables; 
upon which those accused were brought to the gratings 
and tried, the evidence of many witnesses proving 
that one of them at least was always using his cane 
about the heads of the passengers ; consequently the 
said policeman lost his staff of office, and was cautioned 
respecting his conduct in future. 

" By thunder," said the mate to me, after the dis- 
turbance terminated, " I decidedly thought that that 
fracas was got up on purpose to get the captain and 
officers down below in order to butcher them quietly. 
Such," he continued, "is frequently the way they 
open out a successful mutiny at sea, and getting in 
with the land to-day I assuredly believed an outbreak 

The captain drawing near, I asked him if such an 
idea had not occurred to him as he descended amongst 
the fighting multitude. 

" It was all before me," he replied ; " so also was 
my duty, and which was fearlessly to quell the out- 
break even at the risk of my own life. Had I shown 
symptoms of fear in the present instance, the 
subsequent danger to the expedition would have 
increased correspondingly." 

The next unpleasant occurrence happened with a 
member of the crew, the only British subject amongst 
them, whose ignorant insolence — as one of the band 
of mutineers — he had not the wisdom nor cunning to 
restrain until the time arrived for united action. 

He had been discovered abusing some of the 
Coolies, and on being called to account by the captain 
he became insolent, whereupon he was flogged by the 
captain personally until he was almost past recovery ; 
after which, he looked around amongst the startled 


crew, who had all been aroused by the yells of the 
victim, and were congregated, looking on with breath- 
less astonishment at the proceedings. 

As the man lay bleed i*ng from the effects of the 
lash, and apparently about to breathe his last, the 
captain addressed them saying, "So I serve a 
mutinous countryman of my own, and should any of 
you dare cross the line of demarcation here, your 
position will be a dangerous one indeed. Pick up 
that villain," he concluded, "and carry him to the 
hospital that his wounds may be attended to, and 
may he recover to be a living warning to the trans- 

During the evening our first interpreter (who under- 
stood the Italian language and used his knowledge — 
in secret — for the captain's benefit) assured us that 
the handling of the fighting Coolies the other day, and 
•the flogging of th^ seaman this morning, had struck 
terror into the hearts of many of the weaker members 
of the would-be mutinous crew. 

" I have been waiting the favourable opportunity 
which presented itself this morning," replied the 
captain, "although I di-d not expect to find an 
Englishman the subject to be made a terrible example 
of, before getting beyond the salutar}*^ fear-inspiring 
influence those narrow waters have upon mutinous 
seamen, an influence which, by the way, is reversed 
in the case of our Coolies." 

" Over whom," said I, " you already appear to 
possess an extraordinary power ; how you have 
managed to obtain it in so short a time is beyond my 

" It is simply by indulgence, encouragement, and 
kindness to those who do well, and stern, unflinching 
justice, tempered with mercy, to the evil-doer ; even 
now my pockets are laden with cash for distribution 


amongst the industrious, and if you choose to accom- 
pany me in my walk around the ship you will be able 
to form your own opinion respecting the wisdom of 
my treatment." 

We had not gone far ere we observed a Coolie 
busily engaged making a small basket ; moving 
toward him the captain inquired what use he intended 
making of the article when finished. 

** To eat my rice from, sir, as I prefer it to the 
easily broken earthenware dishes provided for that 

" Will you make me one ?" said the captain. 

" If you will be pleased to accept it, sir, nothing 
would afford me more pleasure." 

" Then," said the captain, " in earnest of my in- 
tentions, here is a handful of cash for you ; and when 
you present me with the basket (let it be a small one) 
I will reward you suitably for it." 

'* Now," said the captain as we moved away, " I 
would ask you to follow the effects of this basket 
movement, and yo» may soon see great things coming 
out of it." 

Continuing our walk of inspection, the next one 
who claimed the captain's attention was engaged 
mending a pair of torn " bags." 

"What trade are you V said the captain, drawing 

" A tailor, sir." 

" How came you here Y' 

" Trade was very bad at home ; so rather than 
starve, I entered myself and my son as Coolies for 

" How did you tear your garment .^" 

" It is not mine, sir; I am employed by another." 

" Good," said the captain as he presented him with 
a handful of cash, which appeared to produce an un- 


speakable amount of pleasure, were I to judge by the 
extensive smile which beamed around his head as he 
stretched forth his hand to receive it 

The next recipient of the captain's favours was 
quite a different order of animal ; he belonged to that 
class of ungovernables who require the lash occasion- 
ally to guide them in the way they ought to go. 

As we approached him the noise of his quarrelling 
lungs had just opened their thunders in a charge upon 
a gambling friend by his side. The captain drew up 
cautiously behind him, cane in hand, in time to ad- 
minister the same with telling effect upon his uplifted 
hostile arm ; on receipt of which, and looking round, he 
leaped to his feet with a terrific " Hoi yah !" and 
made off, while the captain's eye followed the flying 
culprit until he leaped out at the main hatch. 

" He is safe now," said the captain as he disap- 
peared ; " we shall probably find him in custody of the 
guard when we reach the deck, tied up on suspicion 
of misconduct, so now we will follow and find out" 

Sure enough he was under arrest, and as the guard 
said, " He has been up to some mischief or other since 
you went down, sir, so I fastened him up till your 

" Right," said the captain, as he advanced towards 
the unfortunate youth, whose looks declared the im- 
possibility of breaking the law with impunity here, few: 
should you escape the lion, you are in danger of rush- 
ing into the wolf's fangs. 

The captain simply unfastened him and administered 
a cut across the back with his cane, and allowed him to 
escape ; then turned to the guard, saying, " You have 
acted wisely and well in this case ; let your vigilance 
be such at all times." 

The following morning at ten we had the baskiet- 
maker requesting an interview with the captain. 


" What r* said the interpreter, M^om he addressed^ 
" what next will you Celestial devils be wanting ? Be 
off with you," he continued, "or I'll grant you an 
interview with the cat-o*-nine-tails. Go on," he re- 
sumed, catching hold of the poor creature and 
gratuitously launching him along the deck. Seeing this 
I stepped forward and acquainted this mighty function- 
ary as to the probable nature of the interview desired. 
The explanation satisfying his mightiness ^ the Coolie 
was permitted the honour of seating himself on the 
poop to await the captain's appearance, while his 
fellow-passengers looked all the astonishment their 
lungs were giving utterance to. 

He had not long been seated when Captain B. 
stepped out of the cabin with a " Good morning, 
gentlemen," to all and any who cared to reply. As 
he approached the basket-maker, the man arose with 
an air of breeding I was not prepared to see, and, 
dropping a low, graceful bow, presented the captain 
with a basket, the neatest and smallest I ever saw. 

The captain examined the toy gravely for some 
time, then, looking at the maker, thanked him kindly, 
and ordered as his reward that he should receive 
half-a-pound of tobacco, a package of cabin biscuits, 
and half-a-dollar in "cash." 

No sooner was this known amongst the emigrants 
than basket-makers were to be found at work in every 
comer of the ship. In short, so numerous did the 
expectants become that our captain at length offered 
prizes for the three best productions of wicker-work, 
the same to be adjudged by me, and to take place the 
day after losing sight of land. 

*' What think you now, Mr. D., of the basket move- 
ment? " said the captain as we were walking the deck 
one beautiful evening and approaching the Straits of 
Banka with a pleasant breeze, and every soul on deck 


admiring the passing ships and the land rising out of 
the deep. 

" It has worked well, Captain B. ; created quite a 
sensation on board, a basket mania in fact ; for, turn 
where you will. Coolies are found splitting up the 
empty provision baskets and making wicker-work of 
some kind : but at present the all-engrossing topic 
with them is the land we are nearing." 

" True, Mr. D., and from to-day until we clear the 
Straits of Sunda it will be an anxious period for me. 
I do not intend curtailing any of their privileges while 
going through those narrow waters, consequently it 
will require all the vigilance of every officer on board, 
keeping a jealous — yet unsuspicious — eye on their 
every movement while the shore is in sight, as in 
those narrow seas many very serious mutinies have 
arisen, the sight of the land creating a desire for 

" But to all appearance, Captain B., there is no cause 
for apprehension with us ; they all seem thoroughly 
contented and happy ; I therefore look upon any such 
disturbance here as the most remote probability." 

" May it prove so, Mr. D. One thing, however, I 
have learned since our departure which causes me no 
little uneasiness, and that is the fact that we have on 
board over one hundred pirates scattered about 
amongst the well-disposed ; and, furthermore, it is 
reported that several of these villains by embarking 
here have escaped the pursuing hand of justice. 
Knowing this, it is impossible to calculate the extent 
of their pernicious influence on the others, as you will 
at once perceive. However, tlie interpreter and I 
have set our seal upon the worst of the horde, and 
instructed the officers concerning them ; therefore I 
conclude that nothing may occur to disturb the happy 
tenor of our proceedings." 


As night drew on we entered the Straits of Banka, 
and by half-past nine came to anchor off the Sumatra 
shore and abreast of Mintok. 

At early dawn the following morning we were again 
under way. Four days and sixteen hours from this 
sufficed to find us entering the Straits of Sunda all 
well, and in the evening we were brought up in Anger 
roadstead, about a mile and a-half from the shore. 
Immediately the anchor was down, and all snug, the 
captain and I went asliore ; one to order off water and 
vegetable supplies, together with a boatload of fruit for 
the passengers, while I resolved to remain on shore 
reconnoitring during the ship's stay. 

Anger — an excellent watering place for ships — is 
composed of six or seven houses^ with a considerable 
balance of low straggling huts squatting amongst the 
trees, covering a motley population of the most docile 
betel-nut eaters the world ever knew. This apparently 
sacred duty is performed by all, from the child of 
tender years, I might say, to the old and infirm, who, 
having lost their teeth by the way, are to be found 
labouring away at the nut with all that remains of 
their head in that region. 

Friend, did you ever witness the sickening spectacle 
presented by opening the mouth of a Javanese betel - 
nut-eater ? If you have not, I fear it will puzzle me 
to convey the most distant idea of what it could pos- 
sibly represent, unless I compare it to a filthy be- 
spattered half-empty jar of blackberry jam after a 
summer's march and counter-march of flies have per- 
formed their daily vigils in, out, and around the 

The houses above alluded to have many very excel- 
lent qualities, and are occupied by as many very excel- 
lent people — rather exclusive, strange to say — however, 
that is decidedly their own affair, therefore we will 


refrain from breathing roughly over their social seclu- 
sion, and pass on to remark that, during my stay, at 
the only house of accommodation in the place, I re- 
ceived the utmost kindness and consideration that any 
stranger in a strange land could wish for — such kind- 
ness as money fails to purchase, and attentions lying 
beyond the reach of gold. These are the little matters 
which cement mankind, and draw the mind back in 
after-life through a long vista of years, to enjoy anew 
the quiet, it may be, of a tropical night amongst a few 
friends one never expects to meet again. Not again ! 
Then if so, farewell to Java. Ye Anger friends, good 
night ! A week of pleasant days I have shared with 
you, nor shall I soon forget the many charming asso- 
ciations of that verandah by the sea ; the meetings of 
a choice few, and the soul-stirring music within. I 
listen again to that music and accompanying voice as 
it swells out with deep pathos and feeling through the 
calm evening air, mingling in glorious cadence the 
mountain torrent of the soul with the pacific strains 
of a heart at ease, while the marginal melody of old 
Ocean on the adjoining shore completes the musical 
sublimity of the piece. In fancy I sometimes hear 
it in the whispering wind, and imagine the swell- 
ing notes on the breast of the storm : but enough, 
enough of this poetry ; the last boat is starting from 
the shore, and I must follow fast, so once more 

Looking thoughtfully back upon the dark brow of 
Anger Hill as we pulled off, I could hardly believe it 
possible that I had found a few days of unalloyed con- 
tentment so far from the centre of civilization, mirth, 
and pleasure, and amongst a people so few in number 
that they scarce could be seen in a well-appointed 
drawing-room. Six short months ago the whole 
Island could not have produced such 7^ ^«^>l satis- 


factory results; another proof that contentment is 
not always gathered in the whirling rounds of city 
gaiety nor happiness amid the brilliancy of fashion- 
able life. 

The night was clear and a fair wind blowing as we 
weighed our anchor to depart ; at eight we were flying 
past the lighthouse with every stitch of canvas spread 
out to the breeze. 

As we rounded the point we fired two rockets, 
assuring our friends on shore that all was well. 

Three days elapsed ere we got clear of the straits, 
the wind having changed against us. On the evening 
of the third day, however (after coming through 
Prince's Channel), we found ourselves twenty miles 
seaward from Java Head, and bounding over the long 
steady swell of the South Indian Ocean. 

" Now, Mr. D.," said the captain (as he took a " de- 
parture " from Java), " as this is the last land I hope 
to see until we reach Peru, will you come below and 
^ shed a tear' with a suitable accompaniment to the 
successful termination of the expedition } and to- 
morrow I should be pleased if you would distribute 
the prizes amongst the basket-makers, an event they 
all appear to be looking forward to with no small 
amount of interest." 

" You have not yet told me what the prizes are to 
consist of) Captain B." 

"The first, two dollars in cash and a pound of 
tobacco. Second, equal the first without tobacco. 
Third prize, one dollar and two half-pound packages 
of cigarettes. These, I think, will please them exceed- 
ingly ; and furthermore, as there will be a great many 
non-prize-receivers, you will order them in front of 
the barricade, and when assembled, I will supply you 
with half-a-bucketful of the said cash to be thrown 
among them frojn the poop-front, which will serve to 


close the scene with no small amount of merriment 
and satisfaction throughout." 

" Did you provide this cash for such purposes, 
Captain B. ?" 

" For no other, sir. I had about a hundredweight 
of it brought on board in order to reward industry and 
good behaviour. You have observed that they all 
gamble with this cash :,the result ere long will be that 
the cleverest gamblers will be in possession of the 
whole of it at present in circulation ; the ruined portion 
then, instead of loitering away their time and con- 
cocting mischief, will betake themselves to some 
industrious occupation in hopes of getting their 
exchequer replenished by me." 

" But your cash will not last very long at the rate 
you have been heretofore using it/' 

"No, it will not. The amount I at present possess 
will not be sufficient for my requirements, but as the 
gamblers of sharp practice are notorious* for illegal 
and hazardous gambling, which generally ends in a 
fight, I have inserted a clause in the regulations to 
the effect that any persons discovered at such games 
shall, in addition to corporeal punishment, forfeit all 
moneys found in their possession to me, by which 
means, you perceive, I shall be enabled to keep 
up my financial standing, curb one great source of mis- 
chief, and at the same time hold myself in a position 
to encourage good behaviour amongst the well-dis- 
posed. I do not look for any such gambling, how- 
ever, until the * sharpers * have pretty well ruined all 
around them, after which will come the grand tour- 
nament for heavy stakes. I calculate one such cap- 
ture will realize me enough for the remainder of the 

voyage " 

" It would appear from your reasoning and arrange- 
ments, Captain B., that you had been studying the 


Chinese character and Coolie trade for as many years 
as you have been weeks," 

" It requires no study, Mr. D. A trifling acquaint- 
ance with human nature, together with a knowledge 
of the manners and customs of the people, is all that 
is required to enable any one to deal successfully with 
most classes and races of men, combined, in .our case, 
with a little nautical tact." 

" Quite true. Captain B. Still you will admit that 
one might have all the necessary knowledge, and yet 
fall miserably short of producing any very satisfactory 
results, simply from a want of that happy power of 
application necessary to bring it about." 

" Perhaps so, Mr. D. ; to-morrow we shall have an 
illustration of your powers of application in dis- 
tributing the prizes." 

Next morning more than ordinary excitement, 
activity, and cheerfulness prevailed amongst the 
Coolies. By lo a.m. the interest displayed was of no 
common character, this being the hour appointed for 
inspecting the articles. As noon drew near (the time 
for awarding the prizes), the scene became positively 
imposing. The whole main deck, house-top, and 
boats were covered with human life, each one anxious 
to know who the favoured recipients would be. 

We need not dwell upon the artistic finish of the 
numerous articles produced : it may suffice to know- 
that the prizes were claimed by, first, the maker of a 
pair of slippers ; second, the producer of an elabo- 
rately-wrought cane ; and third, the maker of a work- 
basket, the ornamental finish of which was not by any 
means so good as the others, arising from the small- 
ness of the article, it being much too small for any 
practical purpose. 

By one o'clock the distribution of the prizes was 
completed ; next came the tossing of cash amongst 



the non-prize-receivers, who were all assembled before 
the barricade, waiting to enjoy the sport. As soon 
as the first tin-dishful was thrown amongst them, a 
closing of the crowd ensued, rolling up into a pon- 
derous heap where the thickest of the coin were falling, 
which created quite a scene of uproarious delight and 
laughter .both amongst crew and passengers. Next 
followed orders to the third and fourth officers to serve 
out to each Coolie a pound of cabin biscuit, and to 
each mess of ten a quart of white wine, as a reward 
for their general good conduct during our passage 
down the China Sea. " There are also three prisoners 
in irons, Mr. N.," continued the captain ; " let them 
be brought here, that we may give them their liberty 
on this day of general rejoicing." 

The prisoners, who had been severally convicted of 
theft, assault, and smoking below, were produced, 
admonished, and made to swear by the sun to better 
behaviour in future, then allowed to depart. 

I may here remark that during the first fortnight of 
our voyage scarcely a day passed without seeing the 
back of one or more laid bare for the lash, caused bv 
their excessive thieving and quarrelling propensities ; 
but at the date on which I am now writing, grave 
breaches of the law are almost unknown. 

After the culprits departed, I asked the captain his 
reason for causing them to swear by the sun. 

" He will be a bold Chinaman indeed," said he, 
*' who will break this oath ; such is my experience. It 
is an oath or vow they shrink from making, but when 
made, I never yet knew it to be broken, unless by a 

Now, my dear friend and patient reader, I trust I 
am not wearying you by any apparently unnecessary 
or superfluous details ; should such be the case, be 
charitable enough to consider them requisite for sys- 


tematically connecting the main incidents and occur- 
rences as they take place. To-morrow I purpose 
taking the depositions of several of our most intel- 
lectual Coolies respecting the manner in which they 
were kidnapped, and trust you may find in the nature 
of their expositions something to abhor. 

M 2 


Kidnapping exposed. 

Before divulging all we know of the means brought 
to bear for the purpose of decoying the unwary and 
unsuspecting Coolie from his home, and introducing 
him to the sublimities of a barracoon, it will be neces- 
sary first to lay before the reader a few points in 
the Chinese character which favour the kidnappers 
of his country in a remarkable degree, and which 
must not be lost sight of while perusing the ac- 
counts given by each of the victims we purpose to 

In the first place, then, let it be borne in mind that 
there exists an ever-ready credulity in the lower 
orders of inland Chinamen, and an exceeding prone- 
ness to believe any exaggerated representation put 
forth by those who may have travelled further and 
seen more of the world than themselves : resembling, 
in this particular, the boy from the far North, who, 
having been told that " golden guineas" were always 
rolling over London Bridge in quest of owners, started 
forthwith on a pedestrian pilgrimage for the golden 
city, fully resolved, on reaching the end of his journey, 
to give the natives a gratuitous and lively illustration 
of one at least who knew the intrinsic value carried by 
that particular coin of the realm, but who — to use his 
own words — was "sairly dumfoondered whan they 
wantit a baubee afore they wad lat me ower the brig 
ava'; aie, mann," he concluded, "I thocht my vera 


hert wad brack/' So is it with the credulous Coolie : 
he is led away by golden visions and false representa- 
tions, and when it is too late finds, like the poor cow- 
boy, that his " vera hert is like to brack." 

The next point in their character to which I would 
draw attention is their insatiable thirst for the al- 
mighty dollar. To such an extent is this developed 
in some of them, that I have known several murders 
in cold blood for the purpose of obtaining {reputed) 
sums of forty to sixty shillings. In fact, one of these 
cases was the wife of an acquaintance of my own, 
who became the victim of a villainous man-servant 
during the temporary absence of the husband from 

One thing more to be remembered is the insular 
position of Macao as favouring the nefarious traffic, 
which is considered a matter of no mean importance 
to the settlement. It is a place also where the labour 
market is invariably overstocked, and where a strange 
Coolie would most probably have the very uncom- 
fortable satisfaction of finding himself gradually 
starving to death were he cast upon his own resources 
after arriving there; and as sympathy for each other 
is a feeling almost unknown amongst the Chinese, 
the poor creatures feel when once inside the barracoon 
that all is over with them and liberty for the time 
being: for the stranger outside the gate starvation 
and liberty go hand in hand, while inside they will at 
least exist with a seven years* compulsory service in a 
foreign land hanging over them. " No alternative," 
they cry; " we must either accept, or be cast forth to 
have our starved and shattered remains sealed up for 
ever in a beggar's grave." 

Having laid these matters before you, we will now 
introduce an intelligent Coolie, aged twenty-two 
years, in order that he may tell us his own story. 



" My name is Choy, I am a native of Vy Chow, 
and a cook by profession. 

" I was out of employment at the time I was 
caught, and how it occurred was as follows : — 

" As I was walking past a gambling-house one day 
I stopped, looked in, then entered to try my luck 
amongst others at the table. 

" I had not gambled long before I lost my all ; at 
the same time an acquaintance by my side lost the 
last of his. 

"My fellow in misfortune and I left the house 
together, he remarking — as* we did so — ^how very 
singular that we should both lose all our money at 
the same time. It doesn't seem particularly strange to 
me noWy hozvever, as I have been told the kidnappers are 
always to be found in the neighbourhood of the gambling- 

" He next asked me what I was doing. I told 
him nothing — worse luck. He said it was un- 
fortunately the same with himself, but that he was 
going down to Macao where he was pretty sure of 
^i^etting an appointment of some kind. 

" I asked what sort of place Macao was, and if 
there would be any chance for me were I to go with 
him. He assured me it was an excellent place for 
employment, and if I liked he would get me a passage 
with himself in a friend's junk which was to sail in 
the afternoon. I thought it a capital chance, so off 
we started on board the junk and sailed ; arriving at 
Macao the following evening, we were met by a 
respectably dressed Chinaman who appeared to know 
my companion pretty intimately, and who inquired 
of me if I wanted employment. I told him it was 
for that purpose I came, and the sooner I got an 
appointment the better I should like it. 


" ' Do you understand cooking ?' he asked. 

" ' I do/ said I. 

" * Then come with me/ he said, * and I will intro- 
duce you to a place at once, as you are an acquaintance 
of ray friend* s' 

"The said friend drew near at this moment and 
said that we could walk along, and he would rejoin us 
in a few minutes. 

" I was then conducted to a large, fine-looking 
place which I could not help suspecting (after getting 
inside) to be a Coolie barracoon, judging from what 
I had heard of these man-traps, 

" I need hardly tell you that I never saw my 
villainous friend again, nor that I was left long in 
ignorance of the fact of his having sold me. 

"After being caged up for two days one of the 
officials told me that I had to go as cook on board 
ship to Peru ; to this I decidedly objected, after 
which I was closely shut up, my good clothes taken 
off, and in return, clothed as a common Coolie. 

" I was kept in this confinement until I promised 
compliance with their wishes, but previous to my 
doing so, I strongly urged the necessity of my remain- 
ing at home, I being the only support and protection 
of my widowed mother, and should I be compelled 
to leave her, she would be cast destitute upon the 
charity of a selfish world to starve and die. 

" I offered to repay any expense I had incurred as 
soon as I was able. They laughed at this proposal, 
and told me that I should have an excellent oppor- 
tunity of working out my honest intentions after 
arrival at Peru. I saw there was no hope ; therefore 
on the following day I agreed to go, and was forth- 
with taken before the attorney-general by one of the 
officials of the man-trap in order that he might 
witness me deliver truthfully those lies which they 


had instructed me in, as answers to the questions of 
the said attorney-general, which were as follows : — 

'^ Attorney- General : What is your name ? 

** Coolie : Vong. 

'* Attorney- General : Where do you belong ? 

" Coolie : Nam Hoy. 

'* Attorney- General : How old are you ? 

" Coolie : Twenty-six. 

^* Attorney- General : Are you willing to go to 
Peru ? 

** Coolie : Yes. 

"For what reason I was instructed to alter my 
name, age, and native place I could not understand, 
but I afterwards found them in my contract paper, 
which was given me when going on board, along with 
two suits of thin rags, and a few more trifles in a 
small basket-box, for which I had to pay half a dollar ; 
the whole outfit worth about three dollars. 

" Such, sir," he concluded, " is a truthful account of 
how Choy was taken in, while it constitutes the whole 
history of your humble servant Vong's life." 

The first is given in minute and lengthened detail, 
and may serve (in its general features) as a correct 
illustration of the procedure in most cases after the 
Coolie is kidnapped ; the changing of the name, age, 
and place of birth being adopted with those whose 
appearance and address warrant the belief that in- 
quiries may be made after themt The others which 
follow I will simply givt an abridgment of ; let it be 
understood also that no one is eligible for emigration 
above the age of thirty, although it was never known 
that the authorities ever opened any of the animals' 
mouths to find out the approximate number of annos 
registered there : at the same time be it known that 
they are not directly cognizant of the coercive treat- 
ment the Coolies are subjected to in the barracoons. 


In a personal interview with the governor of the 
settlement I was assured that he received from his 
government imperative instructions to see that no un- 
lawful means be adopted, nor undue influence exercised, 
to induce the natives to emigrate ; and, further, that 
he from time to time do personally inspect the vessels 
engaged in the trade, in order to satisfy himself as to 
their general fitness for carrying emigrants. We had 
ourselves an official visit of this kind before leaving, 
when twenty-five who objected to go to Peru were im- 
mediately sent on shore again, where we need not 
follow them, as their ultimate destiny is determined 
by the officials of the barracoon whence they came, 
and whose vigilance they need not attempt to escape 

While recording these facts respecting the governor 
of the settlement, however, we cannot lose sight of the 
most important one of all, viz., that a governor acting 
in direct antagonism to the interests of the leading 
members of any such solitary and distant settlement 
very soon makes for himself a social scourge, which in 
time may become exceedingly unpleasant to bear, and 
in the end may resolve itself into an executive mis- 

The next Coolie we bring to your notice is a man 
aged twenty-eight. 


" I was out of employment when an acquaintance 
asked me if I would like to go abroad and work for 
his master at eight dollars a month, pay to commence 
on my departure in the ship, and an advance of wages 
given when signing the contract. The offer was too 
tempting to be rejected without a few inquiries, so I 
asked him where he wanted me to go ; but he could 
not — or would not — tell me exactly, stating that his 


master was at Macao collecting his men, and if I 
wished to go he would send me down to him, when I 
could make my own arrangements. I accordingly 
agreed to go, and, with a note from him, he despatched 
me in the first junk leaving Canton, giving at the 
same time some instructions to the master of the junk 
which I could not hear, any further than that he would 
introduce me to his master on our arrival, which he did 
by marching me straightway into a barracoon, where, 
after a night's lodging, I was informed of my situation 
(not the eight dollars a month one of course), but a 
seven years* one at three dollars. I swore a little, you 
may depend, when I discovered the utter hopelessness 
of my position — for which I was informed, if I did not 
mend my manners, they would find means to make 
me, a fact I did not doubt ; therefore I was not many 
days in the * man-trap ' before I was only too glad to 
get anywhere out of it. So here I am, like many 
more unfortunate fools, and all I wish for now is a 
heavy curse upon the hairless head of the villain who 
brought about my transportation." 

The next is that of a well-educated youth of twenty, 
who holds the position of valet-de-chambre to our 
captain, and who understands a little of the English 


" I was employed in business at four dollars a month 
about sixty miles up country from Canton, to which 
latter place I used to come on occasional visits to my 
father, who carries on a pretty extensive silk business 
there, but with whom I could not permanently reside 
in consequence of harsh treatment from himself or 
some of his wives, of whom he kept four including my 
own mother, the love for whom was the only induce- 
ment to visit my home at all. 


" On my last visit, I was out strolling about town, 
when a most gentlemanly-looking Chinaman with 
cultivated address stopped me, and asked if I would 
like to become a gentleman's servant at six dollars a 
month, adding that he wanted a smart-looking youth 
like me for a friend of his who was going abroad. 

" This was quite enough for me ; the opportunity of 
travelling and seeing a little of that world I had read 
so much about decided me in accepting the appoint- 

" I told him I would just run home and wish my 
dear mother adieu, and meet him anywhere he chose 
to name. 

" * All right,' he replied, ' but take with me a glass of 
" sam shoo " before you go.' Being unused to wine- 
drinking, that one glass made me forget mother, 
home, friends, and country, and left room for nothing 
but foreign travel. 

" He was exceedingly kind to me on our way down 
to Macao, and seemed to be one who had seen a good 
deal of the world himself ; at least, his charming con- 
versation led me to believe such was the case. 

" On our arrival he conducted me to what I was 
pleased to consider the extensive mansion of my future 

" Immediately we entered the gates, I was handed 
over to a man-servant until my captor disappeared to 
acquaint HIS FRIEND, as I supposed, that he had suc- 
ceeded in procuring the services of a suitable valet 
to attend him in his travels abroad. 

" While I was allowing these pleasing reflections to 
scamper about my delighted brain, I was being almost 
unconsciously conducted into the interior of my master's 

" My horror and surprise you may imagine when my 
light heart ceased its joyous pulsations in a room 


crowded with a lot of low Coolies. The truth at once 
flashed across my mind, I AM SOLD. 

" Indignant at this, I at once set about a bold and 
sudden retreat, but not quite sudden enough to escape 
the merciless bloodhounds who closed around, telling 
me to content myself, and that I was going to travel 
abroad, but not altogether in the capacity of valet. 
My informant continued, * You are going to Peru, sir, 
a most delightful country.* 

" I keenly felt my position, away from home and 
friends, and allowed neither verbal nor written com- 
munication with any one beyond the walls ; together 
with being in a place where report taught me a 
stranger could not exist. 

"With all these surroundings, I considered it the 
wisest and, probably, the best course to act as directed 
by the officials of the * man-trap ;' therefore am I 
here, and it served me quite right for not knowing 

In the above case I may mention that the said 
youth was being taken specially as a gentleman's 
valet, and was, de facto, kidnapped to serve as such. 

The following is that of a youth sold by his com- 
panion I — 


'*This companion of mine had borrowed a good 
many small sums of money from me at different times; 
at length when the amount began to assume unpay- 
able proportions, I was thrown out of employment, 
and was compelled to call upon him for part payment 
at least. He said he could not do that just at present, 
but as he was going to Macao to collect moneys owing 
him there, he would then pay it all off on his return. 
* Or,' he resumed, * if you don't mind taking a trip 
down with me, I will bear all expenses, and you can 


have your money immediately on our arrival.' I knew 
him to be a traveller of some kind, although he never 
definitely told me what his travels consisted of. 

" I asked him what sort of place Macao was. He 
told me it was a first-class place for servants, and that 
I stood a very good chance of obtaining an excellent 
appointment if I cared to remain in it, to secure me 
which he promised to do all in his power, and so he 
did, by marching me straightway into a barracoon on 
our arrival. I thought at first it was a gigantic board- 
ing-house, but was soon undeceived. All I can say of 
it is that I was exceedingly delighted to change the 
luxury of the den for any other place of solitary con- 
finement or accommodation under the moon ; so here 
I am, and it served me right." 

The poor wretches are not yet aware that another 
price has to be paid for them on arrival at Peru. 

The next is that of a shopman aged twenty-two, as 
showing another phase in the Coolie traffic, viz., that 
hundreds are indirectly connected with kidnapping 
whose position in society holds them aloof from sus- 
picion — a fact the interpreter assures me of in the 
following terms — " Were it not so. the country would 
soon get overrun with idle vagabonds." 


** I was a shopman in a hardware establishment at 
Canton, from which place, in consequence of dull 
trade, another and myself were discharged, and when 
paid off our master told us that, as we both under- 
stood the art of cooking, the best thing we could *do 
was to start for Macao, where cooks were always in 
demand ; and if we cared to go he could procure us a 
passage down. Thinking the advice good, we deter- 
mined to go, although neither of us knew anything 
whatever about the place. 


** On our arrival next morning we thought ourselves 
particularly favoured individuals, as we were employed 
to serve a gentleman in the capacity of cooks before 
leaving the junk we came in. We were requested to 
follow the gentlenian (a Chinaman, of course), who 
engaged us, and were conducted into a large establish- 
ment and set to work at once to cook for a number of 
Coolies at the reputed and promised pay of six dollars 
a month, nor did we even suspect where we were until 
a few days after, when we were coolly told that we had 
to enter into a contract to go to Peru as cooks at four 
dollars a month, or if not we should be turned out on 
the streets to starve. 

" Of course they had taken care indirectly to in- 
struct us concerning the miserable town we were in ; 
consequently, seeing no other course open for us, we 
agreed ; so here we are, and believe that our very 
master was at the bottom of the whole matter." 

Here is a little schoolboy of tender years whose 
parents are in affluent circumstances. Let us learn 
his tale, which is doubtless a sad one indeed, as his 
tears abundantly testified after being brought on board. 
He commences — 

" My age is I2| years. I am a native of Fat San, 
where I was at school. One day a school-fellow asked 
me to accompany him to see the * sing-song * (travel- 
ling theatricals) who were located near his home, a 
considerable distance from mine. 

" Having obtained my father's permission to remain 
with my companion till next day, we went off, and by 
one o'clock reached the house of amusement. 

" After being inside for some time my friend left my 
side to bring in some fruit. I of course waited, think- 
ing every minute to see him return ; through some 
cause" yet unknown he never did return, and I some- 
times think he was also stolen away. I got very 


%lll^.— ■- ■!■ ■■■■■■■! ■ ■ !■ ^r.».— ■ ■■■ M ■ ■» 

uneasy, and came out at length to look for him ; but 
the longer I looked and the farther I walked, the more 
frightened and bewildered I became ; and when the 
thought of my position came over me (away from 
home, the day closing in, and lost in a strange place), 
I burst into tears, and while standing at the corner of 
a street weeping bitterly a respectable-looking China- 
man came up and inquired what I was crying for. 
'Telling him my tale with a bursting heart, the answer 
he made me was, * All right, my little boy, cease your 
crying. I know your father well, and also where you 
reside ; so come along with me, and after I have 
finished a short journey I am now going on I will take 
you safe home/ 

" I was so glad to have met one who knew my 
father, that I placed myself entirely under his care ; 
the result was that I was taken to Macao and placed 
in a barracoon, where I wept until the people threatened 
to flog me and not let me home at all. 

" I asked if I might write to my father, and tell 
him to send one of the servants for me, but they told 
me such was not needed, and that if I behaved myself, 
and did as I was told like a good boy, I should soon 
be despatched to my home. 

" I was delighted of course* to do anything they told 
me, believing it was the only means by which a lost 
child could be restored to his parents ; but after all 
this, instead of getting home I am now being carried 
fast away from it, and to be absent many years, so 
that, should I ever live to return to that home again, I 
shall have nothing by which to prove that I am my 
father's boy ; and my dear mother, what will she think 
when she finds me entirely lost ? She will consider 
me dead." 

As the poor little fellow concluded, the whole force 
of his position seemed to seize upon him, and he burst 


into tears ; nor could he be pacified until sleep and 
exhaustion had taken hold of him and coiled him up 
in a warm corner of the hospital. 

Reader, can romance beat this ? or civilized bar- 
barism find its parallel ? I think not. 

The next is that of a transparent villain selling one 
of his own kindred. 


" I am a native of San Hui, and my age is twenty- 
eight. I was employed as a domestic servant in the 
house of a Chinese merchant at Canton, where I was 
very comfortable indeed and doing well. 

" One day an uncle of mine called to see me. He 
was a man whom the gambling-table and the use of 
opium had ruined. During our interview he made me 
believe that I was capable of filling a much more 
lucrative position, and if I would leave and go with 
him to Macao — where he was well known — he assured 
me of a place wherein I should soon realize a small 
fortune. I listened, believed, trusted, and subsequently 
started with him, and found, as he had stated, that he 


"He put up at a large house (of course a barracoon), 
where we were well cared for, and where he said we 
should stay for a few days until something turned up ; 
at length he told me he had procured me a first-rate 
appointment as cook on board ship at nine dollars a 
month. I thought this a splendid beginning. Next 
morning an official told me my services would be re- 
quired on board until the vessel was ready for sea ; I 
thereupon accompanied my uncle and fourteen others 
down to a junk for conveyance on board. Before the 
junk started my uncle held out a paper to me saying, 
* Hold that for a moment while I get a drink of water.' 
That was the last I saw of him ; he must have slipped 
into a sam-pan and gone on shore again. 


"I asked the person in charge of the company (who 
apparently knew my uncle well) what had become of 
him ; his reply was, * Gone back to the gamlpling- 
house with the proceeds of the day ; ' then he told me 
to examine the paper he left with me. Conceive my 
horror on opening it to find that my villainous relative 
had personified me, obtained my contract, in fact had 
sold me as a Coolie. After becoming alive to a sense 
of my situation, fear took hold on me ; and when we 
came alongside the ship I struggled to escape going 
on board at all, which ended in my being dragged on 
deck. My person, box, and bag were then examined, 
and I was passed on amongst the other Coolies, but 
not as a cook at nine dollars a month. 

"Such is my case, sir," he concluded ; "and, all 
things considered, I don't much regret it now. If we 
are as well cared for where we are going as we are 
here, there will be nothing to complain of" 

One more case after the one I am now to introduce 
I trust will suffice. The person now about to address 
us is a " tea coolie,'* aged twenty-five. 


" I was a tea coolie (or gatherer). I belong to the 
country beyond Canton. One day when returning 
from my work in the field I was met by a smart, 
military-looking Chinaman, who entered into conver- 
sation with me, telling me that he was recruiting men 
to serve in the Imperial army against the rebels, and 
asked if I would like to be a soldier. I told him I 
did not care what I followed so long as I made plenty 
of money. I then asked him what pay I should get 
if I joined the army. 

" * Four dollars a month,' he replied, * and what 
plunder you can make amongst the rebels.' At this I 
opened my eyes, and did not close them until I 



became a soldier, for I was working hard in the field 
and only getting three dollars a month, and no. 

" I told him I would go anywhere for that pay and 
chances of plunder, and if he would insure me the 
terms I was willing to accompany him at once. 

" He replied with the utmost assurance that the pay 
was the very last thing to be doubted : * in proof of 
which/ said he, * you can have a month's pay now in 

**This of course decided me ; so off we started to 
join the Canton troops at Macao. On landing he 
conducted me to a large house where quite a number 
of volunteers were assembled — of course, I thought, my 
future companions in arms. 

" This delusion was speedily laid aside, for no sooner 
had I asked one of the assembly if he had also 
enlisted to serve in the Imperial army, than a roar of 
wild laughter shook the very room, caused, I imagined, 
by the fierce fighting expression my long, lean counte- 
nance might have unconsciously dropped into. After 
having their laugh out, I asked if any one of them 
would favour me with an explanation of their conduct. 
Another burst of laughter, more hideous than the first, 
was the only reply, followed by the question, *Are 
you come here as a soldier ? * 

" ' Yes,' I replied to the person addressing me. 

" * Well,' said he, * I was brought as a sailor, another 
was brought as a domestic, a third as a cook, a fourth 
as something he nor anybody else ever was, while 
others appeared totally indifferent as to what was to 
be made of them, so long as they had plenty to eat, 
and not much to do, with a little opium occasionally.' 

** *Then,' said I, 'there are none of you who belong 
to the '* Canton troops ?" ' 

" One of the party, seeing my thick-headed per- 


plexity, drew near and whispered in my ear the 
withering fact that I was in a Chinese * man-trap.' 

" After getting to know what sort of place Macao 
was, we all came to the conclusion to accept the con- 
ditions submitted to us, rather than be turned out 
upon the miserable town. So here stands the once 
bold Imperial dragoon," said he, " not much the worse 
by the exchange, at least so far." 

The next is the last and most amusing of them — if 
amusement can be found in them at all. It is the 
kidnapping of a Chinese sailor, who had seen a good 
deal of wild colonial life in the region of the Aus- 
tralian gold-diggings, and who, while there, having 
married an English woman (since dead), you will con- 
clude that he speaks the English language (as he does) 
very well. 

He goes on to say that, " While in the colonies, 1 
made a good deal of money, and returned to China 
with a tolerably large amount. I had not been long 
home when my wife died, which calamity drove me to 
drink and the gambling-house, and ultimately to ruin. 
At this point I recovered myself, or rather the use of 
my senses, and went to Canton, where a cousin of 
mine used to be in a very good position, thinking 
perhaps he might lend me a helping hand in my 

" On arriving there I was told he had left for Macao 
(that noted spot for all idle vagabonds), to which place 
I followed, but could find no trace of his whereabouts ; 
tired at length and hungry, I sat down on the steps 
of a joss-house (church) to rest. 

" I had not been long seated when a Chinamah 
came up and offered me his hospitality ; this rather 
amused me ; I could not understand this unnatural 
offer of kindness on the part of my selfish country- 
men. ( You must know that I was totally ignorant of 

N 2 


the barracoon business at this time!) However, I re- 
solved to chance it, and solve the mystery. I thought 
perhaps he might be able to lead me to find the object 
of my search. 

"Accompanying the man, he conducted me to a 
large house, of which he appeared chief cook and 
bottle-washer, by ordering me a dinner ; after which 
he asked me to drink a little white wine, which I did, 
telling him all the while a short history of my late 
reckless life. He next asked me if I would smoke a 
little opium, which I could not do. 

" Having stopped, as I thought, long enough, I got 
up to take my leave, with many thanks for his dis- 
interested kindness ; but consider my surprise when, 
as I was moving toward the door, I was pounced upon 
by four ruffians ; the first I knocked down with my 
right fist, the second with my left elbow, the third I 
sent spinning with a kick below the belt, and was just 
squaring around the fourth, to drop him also, when in 
rushed another force and overpowered me, after which 
they coolly told me I was in a Coolie * man-trap,* and 
that if I did not conduct myself in a more pleasant 
style, I should be seized up and flogged. 

"As they let me go, I just looked round amongst 
the crowd, and quietly told them that I would whip 
the whole mob of them by one at a time if they would 
just favour me with a beginning ; but they could not 
see that anyhow, although I squared straight away at 
the biggest of the wretches, asking him just to step 
out and taste the hand of a man about his big head. 
The reply to this was, they closed on me and locked 
me in solitary confinement until I recovered myself. 

" After cooling down and thinking the matter over, 
I formed my resolution to go to Peru, and where I hope 
to do well. Of course I shall easily make my escape. 
I don't care who becomes my master ; and, with my 


knowledge of the English and Spanish languages, I feel 
sure my ultimate destiny won't be a very hard one. 
However, the villains at Macao will hold this coon in 
anything but grateful remembrance as long as they 
live, I know." 

Now, reader, as all things must in the natural order 
of events come to an end, we will toss this chapter m 
amongst the multitude of finished matter, and do so 
with the knowledge that the incidents recorded are 
pure and unembellished facts, given in simple truth 
and honesty of purpose, for the thinking mind to 
ponder over ; and in our next we will proceed on our 
voyage, noting such occurrences as are worthy of our 


Incidents during the Voyage, together with a practical view of the 

British Mercantile Marine. 

We had not been long clear of the land before signs 
of disagreement became apparent amongst the crew : 
the Italian ruffian and his colleagues having made 
themselves obnoxious to the better-disposed members 
of the ship*s company, a disruption amongst them- 
selves was likely to become the first act in the 
tragedy. As soon as these ^igns made their appear- 
ance Captain B. issued orders to the officers to carry 
their revolvers secretly about their persons at all 
times, and also a pair of handcuffs each ; " and on the 
first outbreak of hostilities amongst the seamen them- 
selves," said he, " here are the names of the villains I 
wish to be put in irons; you will single out your men, 
and leave the Italian to me. It will not be long ere 
the trouble breaks out, and will most probably take 
place at the relieving of the midnight watch ; there- 
fore let each of you act promptly and fearlessly, at 
the same time guarding against assassination. You 
will also instruct the interpreters, Mr. N., to keep the 
police force at all times in readiness for immediate 

" Now that you have disposed of your officers," said 
I to the captain, " what part am I to perform in this 
interesting matter.^" 

"You will take charge of the poop, Mr. D., and 
shoot down any man who dares to approach you 
while the disturbance lasts, keeping at the same time 


a watchful eye upon the man at the wheel ; you may 
have quite enough to amuse yourself in that, as the 
disturbance — though commencing amongst them- 
selves — may resolve itself into a general mutiny. In 
fact, it occurs to me that the very cause of the ill- 
feeling amongst them arises out of the refusal of 
many to join the leading villains in their mutinous 

The foregoing arrangements were not completed 
any too soon, for on the following night at eight 
o'clock high words were heard amongst them in the 
fore-cabin, which ended in their marching on deck in 
a body to settle the matter by force of arms, by 
which time our forces were at hand awaiting the con- 
fusion consequent upon the first onslaught Imme- 
diately the struggle commenced, Captain B., with 
officers and constabulary, closed upon the crowd ; and 
before I had sufficiently recovered myself to realize 
the rapidity of the movement, the proscribed men 
(eight in number) were manacled, but unfortunately 
not till our second officer had been stabbed in the 
thigh, which disabled him for six weeks. 

The unsuspecting crew seemed perfectly paralyzed 
by the movement, and the bewildered looks of the 
would-be mutineers were positively amusing. Having 
chained them in a body around the booby-hatch, and 
placed an armed guard over them for the remainder 
of the night, the captain turned to the rest of the 
crew (who had not yet recovered from their surprise), 
and asked what was the cause of the disturbance. 

One more bold than the rest stepped out, and said^ 
" The fellows now in irons wanted to take the ship, 
and, as we would not join them, they have never 
ceased to bully us into submission; and the fight 
to-night was no doubt intended for the murder or 
disabling of some of us." 


" Indeed," said the captain ; " then as we can dis- 
pense with their services, we will keep them in irons 
for the remainder of the voyage." Turning to the 
prisoners, he simply told them that their "bread 
would be given them, and their water would be sure." 

We may at once dismiss this case by adding that 
four of the prisoners — on their knees — the following 
day craved forgiveness, and received it on the con- 
dition that they explained the whole case from 
beginning to end, and which was readily agreed to by 
three of them, while the others were carried prisoners, 
and had their pay stopped from the date of the dis- 
turbance, and indeed were very thankful to get off so 

T/ie Account. 

"Before you proceed," said the captain to the 
prisoners, "be truthful, as I have long since been 
acquainted with your diabolical compact." 

" Before leaving China," commenced the man, " we 
took an oath that an Englishman should not live in 
command of a vessel under our flag, and it was agreed 
to take the ship, bear down close enough to the 
Australian coast, plunder, and scuttle her ; then leave 
in the boats. I am very sorry now that I had any 
hand in the matter, but that big Italian, in a great 
measure, bounced me into it 

** After leaving China the conspiracy was strength- 
ening amongst us up to the time of the disturbance 
with the Coolies, when not a man of us would venture 
below to crush the insurrection ; your conduct on that 
occasion made a few of our adherents hoist the * white 
feather;' and after flogging that Englishman so fear- 
fully in the Java Sea, there became a regular break- 
up ; then commenced the disagreements which ended 
in the fight brought about last night" 


"Who was to have headed the mutiny?" said the 

"The big Italian, sir; and Pedro was to navigate 
the ship, and let us know when our time for action 
arrived; but what with the accident to his sextant, 
and not using log-lines, nor allowing any one to navi- 
gate but yourself, we got very much troubled about 
finding her position and the time for acting; how- 
ever, after a while Pedro said that he could manage 
it yet, if the others wouM only rejoin us." 

" In what way was he to have managed it T 

" He said that when we crossed the i8oth meridian 
there would be two days of the same name in that 
week, and from that be could find his way to New 

"Very clever," said the captain to me, "but that 
course of action I had also anticipated." 

Having made them affix their signatures to their 
depositions, they were liberated, and subsequently 
became the most exemplary and devoted characters 
on board. 

Now that we have settled matters with the mutineers, 
we will proceed on our voyage, which has been 
exceedingly tedious of late. Light, variable winds 
and calms have been attending us for several days 
past, and to-day the sultriness of the atmosphere is 
intense beyond description. 

It is the hurricane season in the southern hemisphere, 
and our captain has been looking very uneasy and 
troubled during the past twelve hours, although (but 
for the heat) the weather is lovely in the extreme — 
still, calm, and clear, while the sun's untempered 
fierceness is striking down upon the unbroken surface 
of the sea, the appearance of which is enough to 
awaken the echoes of Coleridge's " Ancient Mariner," 
" The very deep did rot." Nevertheless, the captain 


has been moving up and down as if some terrible 
calamity was about to befall us. His restless ^y^s 
have been all the morning groping around the well- 
defined horizon in strange and tortuous expectancy, 
Down again to the saloon he wanders. I follow and 
find him attentively studying the barometer. 

I inquired if he expected a change. 

" Too sultry to last long," was the reply, and he 
immediately went on deck again, where I heard the 
order given to call all hands and shorten sail. " Send 
small yards and booms down also, Mr. N.," said he, 
*'and lose no time, as I expect a hurricane on us 
before sundown." 

This was enough to arouse my terror. I conse- 
quently leaped on deck expecting to behold huge 
black volumes of vapour already rolling themselves 
out in terrific and threatening majesty over the deep ; 
but no, not a speck was visible in the whole vault of 

As the sun descended, his usually mild tropical 
expression was changed into a fierce, fiery wildness 
impossible to conceive, while he clothed the heavens 
in a lurid glare awful to behold. As he approached 
the horizon the clouds gathered, and the wind arose, 
sultry and soft as the breath of angels, but singing 
one of the most melancholy songs I ever heard ; a 
howl so sad and dismal, as if the late slumbering 
spirits of the sea and air had been commissioned to 
sound the final wail of approaching dissolution. Such 
sounds, the captain assured me, were the unfailing 
precursors of elemental war, and were known as such 
to seamen of every land.. 

Thick darkness settled over the black expanse, 
while the breeze swelled out into a gale, accompanied 
by occasional squalls, rain, and fierce lightning. By 
midnight it blew a hurricane, which reached it3 height 


at 4 a.m. By six, our lower masts (fore and main) 
were sprung, but not seriously, although, had the pre- 
caution not been adopted to send down small yards 
and booms, we might have had to chronicle a totally 
different tale. At 9 a.m. it was taking off, and by 
noon we were again booming along in the rear of the 
storm, with our mast temporarily secured against 
further {present) danger, and for the remainder of the 
voyage were unable to carry small yards and booms ; 
however, Mr. N. declares the want of studding-sails 
(which he assures me never pay for their gear) and 
the use of flying kites will make no difference to the 
length of our passage, as we shall soon be far enough 
south where such sails are seldom needed, the wind 
generally being that of a stiff topgallant breeze, or a 
reefing-down gale, " as you can well testify, Mr. D., if 
you will recall your disastrous voyage to the colonies." 

" I fervently hope the lower masts will hold out, 
Mr. N., as I had enough of jurymasts on that memo- 
rable occasion to serve me for the rest of my life." 

" The foremast \s all right, Mr. D., but that monster 
mainmast I would not like to vouch for, considering 
the way the old man carries on sail ; he has been used 
to those powerful iron ships, and I fancy he forgets at 
times that he is on board a wooden one, and a soft- 
wood one at that" 

" The mainmast trembles at every heavy roll now, 
Mr. N." 

** It does, sir, like some huge Hercules attempting 
to retain a perpendicular with broken knee-caps, and 
that serious-looking bend in it reminds a fellow of 
the parabolic curve of a cat's back when suddenly 
brought face to face with a snarling young cur." 

"Your similes are of a most novel character, 
Mr. N." 

" Yes," he replied pointing, " and there comes 


another novel character out at the main hatch in 
charge of a constable." 

The character referred to was a somewhat wild 
constitutional thief, whose looks presented a mixture 
of low cunning and idiocy, and whose special delight 
was to stitch any rag he picked up about the ship to 
his nether garment, presenting in consequence a most 
grotesque appearance. 

In the present instance he is charged with attempting 
to rob the silken end of another passenger's queue or 
" pin " as they term it — alias tail. 

The mate could not resist smiling as he caught him 
by the same appendage saying, "You precious in- 
corrigible, irreclaimable young harmony of patches, 
what shall I do with you } Do you hear ? What shall 
I do with you, you conglomerated amalgam of 
insanity and rags .?" 

" Let me go," indicated the young lunatic with a 
broad grin. 

" Let you go, eh ? There is not much lunacy about 
that anyhow, you bad-bound brainless bundle of 
human bones." 

After administering a sound shaking, the chief 
officer let him off declaring that he was a harmless 
maniac, and his fits were always most startling about 
full moon. 

"What is the reason of the moon's powerful in- 
fluence on some people, Mr. D. V^ 

" All nature, Mr. N., has its floods and ebbs, and we 
are taught that the moon has the direct control of the 
tides ; such being the case, it requires no great stretch 
of the imagination to suppose its influence may also 
extend to the tidal current of the blood, which has its 
floods and ebbs as surely and steadily as the water 
on earth's surface, or the mercurial column of the 


" Then, I suppose, when a fellow loses his temper or 
becomes a little insane about full and change, it would 
not be out of place to term the like of these high 
springtides, eh ? By-the-bye, talking about tides and 
water, Mr. D., did you hear the fire-bell about two 
o'clock this morning, and the electric mustering of the 
fire-brigade, who assembled in the twinkling of a cat's 
ear, and had the water pelting around the seat of the 
smoke like Christian heroes ?" 

" Whence came the smoke ?" 

" From the passengers' galley, and was caused by a 
bundle of shavings coming in contact with a live lamp, 
after which there appeared smoke enough to warrant 
the belief that the bowels of the ship were in blazes : 
however, it was soon blotted out, after which it was 
ascertained that (the interpreter having omitted to 
lock the place as usual, the night before being a rather 
cold one) some of the cooks took advantage of the 
open doors and made a bedroom of it, going to sleep, 
leaving a small lamp burning on the cabouse in too 
close proximity to the said shavings, which a puff of 
wind blew over it. After all was finished, the * old 
man ' administered a sound, but quiet, reproof for our 
negligence : but the best of us are liable to sins of 
omission at times, Mr. D., and the captain is charitable 
to a fault in the consideration of that fact, nor does he 
retain his . displeasure any longer than it takes him to 
recount to us our errors ; such being the case, we strive 
never to give rise to that displeasure. There are a 
class of characters, however, in the British merchant 
service who delight in harping an eternal tune out of 
the petty shortcomings of their officers, and who 
occasionally change the music for a little bullying of 
them in the presence of all hands, which frequently 
ends in driving good officers to recklessness and an 
otherwise well-disciplined ship into something not far 


short of a floating hell. Yes, Mr. D., there are two 
great causes out of which nine-tenths of the mutinous 
insubordination on the part of seamen arises : first, 
the supplying of bad provisions, there being no govern- 
ment survey held on what is served out to Jacket sea, 
but should a handful of emigrants, even of the lowest 
possible type of humanity, make up their minds to take 
a sea voyage, inspectors and surveyors, duly appointed, 
make their appearance upon the scene ; then follows 
such an opening of casks, cans, and canisters for in- 
spection as might lead one to conclude that Britain's 
best blood was about to brave the dangers of the 
deep ; while those who have the care and working of 
the expedition are left to be dealt with by owners, 
many of whom may bestow less anxiety for their 
seamen's supplies than they would for that of their 
dog ; in proof of which, I have been told that salt 
provisions condemned by these surveyors (in- 
stead of being destroyed) have been deliberately 
carted to the side of another vessel and shipi>ed 
as food for seamen ; nor do I believe there is any 
romance about these hard statements, Mr. D. The 
most surprising part of the whole case is, why such 
condemned meat is not forthwith despatched to the 
same limbo as that of the butchers in the market- 

"A startling anomaly certainly, Mr. N., but where 
do such provisions come from V 

" I believe a great proportion of them to be the con- 
demned product of naval and military depots, Mr. D. ; 
at least, we are at liberty to conjecture what becomes 
of such stores after an honourable service in isolated 
naval and military establishments where siege supplies 
are kept up. The second great cause of mutinous in- 
subordination, Mr. D., has its origin in the conduct of 
captains and officers, but most frequently resulting in 


the overbearing arrogance of the former reflecting 
through the officers on the crew ; such masters utterly- 
ignoring the possibiHty of insubordination on the part 
of themselves." 

" With the onward march of education, Mr. N., such 
characters are sure to disappear, and get replaced by 
intelligent and better-educated men who are always 
more charitable to the venial faults and failings of 
their subordinates." 

" We want a mighty army of such men in our mer- 
cantile marine, Mr. D., but until the Board of Trade 
take the first step in the matter by raising the require- 
ments of their nautical candidates, we need not hope 
to find them." 

" They are raising the standard and increasing the 
difficulties of examination from time to time, I under- 
stand, Mr. N." 

"Yes, increasing them by that which will never 
raise the educational standard of the class, nor ch^ck 
the superfluous supply of the manufactured article. 
Could you realize anything more monstrous, for in- 
stance, than the case of a person I knew, who, having 
passed the Board as master, and taken command of a 
large first-class passenger ship, was utterly incapable 
of finding the cubic capacity of his water-tanks, or the 
contents of a bale of merchandise } and of another 
parallel case which came under my notice on board a 
steamship when about to * coal ' in a place where fuel 
is brought alongside in square piles on deck barges 
and taken by admeasurement } the chief engineer was 
called upon, of course, to perform this ceremony (or 
see it done), but alas, he knew not how ; the * second ' 
was appealed to with equal success ; and finally one 
was found in the person of the * third ' (a young man 
without a certificate at all), who took out the quantities 
and saved the others from general exposure ; this of 


course brought down the ignorant jealousy of his 
superiors, who ever after secretly sought every oppor- 
tunity to inflict upon him that species of fault-finding 
treatment which superior ignorance never fails to let 
loose upon subordinate intelligence, and which finally 
ended in his leaving the vessel in disgust on her return 
to England. Such tales as these many a good man 
could tell, Mr, D. I have known several other in- 
stances where smart, efficient officers have been dis- 
charged simply because their education and professional 
training had not been neglected, and because they 
would not sacrifice their manhood and principles and 
become humble, obsequious slaves to ignorant, illiterate 

" I have met with such cases myself, Mr. N., in my 
voyagings about the world, and have found, as you 
observe, that unless the officers can pander to every 
whim and vice of such men, hold a candle to their 
ignorance, and sip their low-born arrogance with the 
meek servility of serfs, they need hope for no ad- 
vancement through their agency ; the consequence 
follows, i.e., many choice officers are kept back, while 
the time-serving sycophants are brought forward and 
presented to fill positions their very principles utterly 
unfit them to sustain with dignity to themselves or 
credit to their employers ; and if the Board of Trade 
can do anything to adjust such a state of matters, they 
ought to set about it forthwith." 

" Set about it, sir ? Why, Mr. D., do you know that 
the marine department of the Board is, in my estima- 
tion, a grand maritime burlesque, endowed with power 
sufficient to publish (statistically) their own weakness, 
and protect the mercantile marine fund, the swelling 
of which probably gives them more concern than the 
superior qualification and attainments of their nautical 
candidates } Had I the power, sir, I would shake the 


.whole country from John o' Groat's to the Land's 
End with the question, Why has this eminently 
useful branch of the executive government power to 
protect the subject in almost every industry in the 
kingdom where danger to life and limb exists, and 
■NONE ! literally NONE ! to protect those who risk life, 
liberty, and property to keep these very subjects from 
starvation, and their masters from bankruptcy ?" 

"Nor will their power — in that quarter — increase, 
Mr. N., until some spirit arise bold enough to represent 
you in Parliament and stir the nation to action in your 

" If they ever get the power to extend a protecting 
arm around us, Mr. D., I hope and trust they will not 
allow their want of vigilance to pass into a proverb, as 
it has done in the case of marine board examinations. 
It is said that the British Board of Trade will pass 
anything from a chimpanzee or * Darwin's missing 
link ' onward to the Esquimaux, Hottentot, and 
foreign refugee, until it culminate in the semi-cultivated 
native savage, many of whom to unhusk would prove 
in their rank uncouthness infinitely more barbarous 
than their hairy approximations of the forest and 
jungle. However, having paid the necessary FEE ; 
demonstrated a sufficiency of nautical CRAM, and 
shown servitude enough, they obtain certificates ; after 
securing which they might be found reclining on their 
oars with a what-do-you-think-of-me sort of triumphant 
ease, while their poor overwrought brains feel racked 
and bruised on reaching this the ne plus ultra of mental 
effort over a task so trifling that a cow-boy might 
accomplish it with a few weeks' drill." 

"It is surprising, Mr. N., that our legislators take so 
little interest in maritime affairs and our sea-going 
population generally, seeing so much depends upon 
them in a nation like Great Britain." 



" We are in very deed an isolated class, Mr. D., 
whose laws (if we have any) are little known or 
studied, and less cared for ; I might almost add, an 
unrepresented class also, were it not that every wild 
winter proclaims aloud our utter helplessness through 
the swollen columns of maritime disaster. * FOUN- 
DERED AT SEA WITH ALL HANDS ! ' How frequently 
this appalling sound reverberates through the air, 
swelling out as it rolls, until reaching the Eternal's 
THRONE it meets the attentive ear of an avenging GoD. 
Woe to the land which is thus murdering — BY NEG- 
LECT — hundreds of the bravest of her sons annually, 
scattering desolation amongst a thousand happy 
homes, and filling high heaven with the groans of the 
widow and fatherless. There is no * balm in Gilead,' 
nor * physician * found for us, Mr. D., although repre- 
sented yearly by the lamentations of a host of broken 
hearts, which would suffice to move the legislative car 
of any nation in Europe, save one whose ponderous 
pinions are only heard to grind over (and after) the 
dust of human sacrifice, while under the weight of 
maritime affairs the rusty wheels are never heard to 
roll, although the Jmman sacrifices annually offered up 
around our shores would more than satiate the bloody 
maw of Juggernaut himself. Yet nothing is done; 


UNFIT TO SEE God's CLEAR AIR. Should one be found 
bold enough to step from, the ranks and grapple with 
the wantSy defects^ anofnaliesy and shortcomings of the 
maritime law, Mr. D., he would immediately get beset 
by an army of interested hornets^ who would set about 
making him feel like the itinerant preacher who (acci- 
dently taking an ant-hill for his rostrum) could get no 
further with his audience than acquainting them that. 


although the word o' gospel truth was in his mouth, 
he thocht the vera deil himser had got inside o' his 
breeks. As the ants charged the above intruder, so 
would the interested myriads charge any one who 
would dare strike the trident into the corrupted back 
of the maritime monster; the consequence is, de- 
moralization increases, from the boy to the ignorant, 
unscrupulous master, and culminating in the needy, 
avaricious shipowner who overloads, undermans, and 
employs those who are cheapest to navigate his 
enterprises, irrespective of quality in the article.** 

" I am not sufficiently acquainted with the subject 
to advance an opinion, Mr. N." 

" Such, unfortunately, is too applicable to the great 
bulk of our legislators ; hence arises a fear of arousing 
the slumbering leviathan, even by a loud question 
upon any of its constituent parts, Mr. D." 

" By what means could you better the existing state 
of things in the service, Mr. N. } " 

" By the adoption of the following regulations, 
simple in their construction, and which I believe 
would prove eminently successful in their practical 
-development ; but, as the diseases have now become 
chronic, it will require the nation's ablest physicians 
to cure them by legislative enactments. No other 
means will suffice. You are of course aware that 
when a ship is launched she is named, measured, and 
duly registered, and forsooth, lest she escape a tithe 
of her tonnage dues, they measure her to the hundredth 
part of a ton. I would have men of such fractional 
parts to determine at the same time her safe load- 
line and establish her crew list, all of which to be cut 
into her main beam alongside of her registered tonnage 
and official number. 

"In arranging the crew list I would allow each 
apprentice (not to exceed one-fifth of the whole) to stand 

O 2 


as one in the * all told ' complement, and to those who 
are now taken to sea under the name of boys I would 
^\v^ no title whatever in the list, and, should they be 
sent on board at all, let them be accounted as * extra,* 
having no place as forming part of her legal comple- 
ment. The introduction of such a simple code of laws 
would not fail in producing most beneficial results, 
and, I feel convinced, would be received cheerfully by 
all the better class of shipowners throughout the 

"There are several very wealthy shipowners in 
Parliament now, Mr. N.; one would imagine such 
matters would find in them fearless advocates if, as 
you suppose, the needy, avaricious owners be the only 
enemies to maritime reform." 

" And so they are, as a rule, Mr. D., their cry ever 
being. Yon vitcst try and do with a few hands less, and 
yoit must find room for a few tons more. On these 
hangs many a ghastly wreck and tale of human suffer- 
ing and domestic woe, Mr. D.; whereas the determined 
crew list and load-line, as entered upon the register 
and cut into the main beam of each vessel, would 
efTectually put a stop, under vigilant surveyors, to over- 
loading and undermanning, while the apprentice system, 
and the introduction by the Board of Trade of a higher 
standard of education, mixed with a few scientific 
requirements in the examination of masters and 
officers, would not fail to provide a much better class 
of men, thereby reducing maritime disaster and loss of 
life to a minimum, while raising us as a class to a 
legitimate position in society which very many of us at 
present feel ourselves ill-fitted to hold, sustain, or enjoy."^ 

" I certainly cannot see why a ship (as well as any 
other vehicle of conveyance) should not have a register 
*to carry' a given weight as well as a builder's 


"Decidedly, Mr. D.: carts, cabs, waggons, railway 
trucks, and omnibuses, &c., are registered ' to carry* 
and why not the ship, with all the elements of destruc- 
tion attending her everywhere ? Why should the 
loading of them be left, it may be, to the sertii- 
educated captain whosie only ill-paid, unmanly ambi- 
tion is to show that he is bold enough to carry more 
than his predecessor, or (what is infinitely worse) 
dependent upon the specific gravity, I might say, of 
an unscrupulous shipowner's conscience." 

" I am of opinion, Mr. N., that the united efforts of 
the better-educated members of the mercantile marine 
themselves (reflecting through an able and well- 
selected committee of management) might do much to 
improve the existing state of things." 

** No doubt of it, sir, but where is the UNITY to be 
found } Certainly not amongst captains and officers 
of the- British merchant navy. UNITY is a stranger to 
them and treated as a mutineer, while co-operation is 
looked upon with fear and trembling mixed with 
jealousy, doubt, and littleness of soul. Were an 
assemblage of men (having the interests of the mer- 
cantile marine at heart, together with the will, time, 
and ability) to constitute themselves into a committee 
of management for the organizing of an association of 
members of the profession for mutual intercourse and 
protection, they would scarcely procure subscribers 
enough in one generation to defray the expenses of its 
swaddling-bands ; in fact, it would surprise me if the 
monster lived long enough to be weaned unless suckled 
gratuitously by the stranger." 

" How do you account for such disunion ?" 

" I believe it has its origin in the extraordinary 
mixture of all classes of society to be found in our 

Just as he concluded the above, two tall, powerful 

198 . THE VOYAGE. 

Coolies, having been caught fighting, were dragged up 
from below, covered with blood and wounds : the 
cause of the disturbance being illegal gambling, an 
order was issued to bring the boxes of the combatants 
for examination, which resulted in the capture and 
confiscation of a large quantity of cash. " Just what I 
stand in need of," said the captain, and pointing to one 
of the prisoners said, " Strip that fellow's back and 
seize him to thej gratings ; then give the * cats' to his 
antagonist with instructions to put forth upon the back 
of his companion the full weight and force of his 
whole body, and fail not at his peril so to do." 

" Ha !" said the man when the order was given, 
" ril let him have it with a vengeance ;" at the same 
time rolling up his sleeves with a fiendish delight, as if 
murder was the aim and end of his intention. 

"You will administer a dozen lashes," said the 
captain, " and study not to go too high with the cats, 
nor too far round the body." 

By this time several hundred were assembled to 
witness the punishment of the greatest intimidating 
ruffians in the 'tween decks. 

The captain at length turned to the one with the 
cats (who was waiting with fierce significance to deal 
out his wrath), and gave the order to lay on the lash. 

No sooner was the order issued than the scoundrel 
brought down the cats with such force as drew flesh 
and blood at the first stroke. 

" I have waited long for these two villains," said the 
captain to me as the flogging proceeded. "Their 
overbearing treatment of their weaker brethren," he 
continued, " has not escaped my notice, and, but for 
the terror they have scattered around them, they 
would have been brought here long ere now." 

As he concluded, the last stroke resounded from 
the torn and lacerated back of the criminal, and his 


^^'^^^^^— ^™^— "^^^"^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"^"^ " ' ■ l^*^^— » I ■■ I 11 ^ . — ^P— ■ ■■■Mill ■ III ■ M^— ^ ■■III .^ 

yells had ceased, he having fainted under the merci- 
less arm of his law-breaking companion. He was 
immediately unbound and handed over to the doctors, 
who were attending to dress the wounds, while his 
comrade — who no doubt imagined he had performed 
a meritorious service — was moving off, apparently 
gratified at having had such admirable satisfaction for 
his wounded feelings. 

As he slipped along, however, the captain stopped 
him, saying, " Stay, I have not yet done with you." 

I saw that the wretch felt himself doomed, by the 
death-like pallor his countenance immediately assumed. 

The spectators of this scene were watching in 
breathless anxiety, and wondering what the end of it 
would be. 

" Do you observe the profound astonishment of the 
passengers?" said the captain. "They are anxiously 
waiting to ascertain the issue of this matter, which 
will very soon be brought about now.'* 

At this moment the recovering man gave a groan 
of returning consciousness. 

" Now," said the captain, " seize up the man who 
administered that last unmerciful chastisement, and 
give the cats to his adversary, that he may return, with 
interest, what he has just received ; then, perhaps, 
they will remember their pugilistic encounter and 
illegal gambling as long as they live." 

Immediately this order was given, the whole assem- 
bled multitude burst into wild applause at the decision, 
which quickly merged into uproarious laughter when 
they beheld the groaning man jump to his feet with a 
" Richard-is-himself-again " sort of air, and grasping 
the cats, saying (while looking fiercely around to the 
captain), " I await your command, sir." 

" Lay on," said he at length, and, O ye slave-driving 
administrators of the lash, had you witnessed the 


closing of this chastisement, and the effect produced, 
together with the demoniacal expression of their 
features, it would have shaken out of even you a groan 
of pity for this race of unsympathizing human beings. 

When the second person delivered up the blood- 
stained cats, the captain motioned him to remain. 

After the restoration of his companion, they were 
ordered to stand out side by side, while the captain 
addressed them as follows : — 

" Your crime," he began, " is of a twofold nature-^ 
viz., fighting and illegal gambling — the punishment 
for which is eighteen stripes ; but what you have 
flogged each other for now is for that which you have 
both been carrying on successfully since the com- 
mencement of the voyage, and which is your intimi- 
dating and overbearing tyranny to your fellow-pas- 
sengers. You may go now," he concluded, " and to- 
morrow, at this hour, I shall open your closing wounds 
by administering the punishment due to your crimes." 

At hearing of this, both of them dropped instinc- 
tively upon their knees and implored forgiveness for 
their transgressions. 

" Do you think it possible," said the captain, " for 
both of you to live without taking a cowardly advan- 
tage of your weaker brethren, and at the same time 
live peaceably with each other 1'' 

**Oh yes, sir," was the immediate reply of both. 

"Then, if so," resumed the captain, "turn face to 
face and shake the hand of good fellowship ; while on 
your knees, vow by the sun to fulfil your promise of 
better behaviour in future." 

Having done so they arose, and were told that the 
remaining punishment would be reserX^ed for them 
against the day in which they should break their vow. 
" Go," concluded the captain, " and strive to live at 
peace with all men." 


The very same evening, in our walk of inspection, 
we found the two having a friendly game at dominoes, 
but being without cash, they had not the wherewithal 
to render the game interesting. 

" No cash ?'* said the captain, drawing near. 

They replied with a smile, saying that it served 
them right to lose what they had, seeing they were 
playing a prohibited game. "And a quarrelling 
^ame too," chimed in the other, " which I don't think 
either of us will forget." 

The captain hereupon gave each a handful of cash, 
-with instructions to remember the law, 

"Ha! ha!" said both in a breath, "we will re- 
member our vow to you, sir; nor shall we ever forget 
the lesson it has taught us." 

" You have apparently changed the character and 
dispositions of two men to-day," said I to the captain, 
as we moved on. 

"The trial and punishment of this morning will 
have a beneficial effect upon them all," he replied. 
"Poor creatures," he continued, "the most of them 
have, no doubt, been tossed at an early age upon the 
world to grope their way into manhood according to 
the wild dictates of human nature — a nature which is 
ever capable of sinking immeasurably below the brute. 
What then can we hope for from any of them, reared 
as many of them have been in the street, and tutored 
in the gutter ; springing from that academy of crime, 
like gardens let alone, unweeded, and untrimmed V 

"It has often surprised me, the trouble you always 
take in explaining to the criminal the nature of his 
offence. Captain B." 

"For which I have reaped, and am reaping, my 
reward by never having had a repetition of any one 
crime by the same person, showing how susceptible 
they are to sound practical reasoning, when adminis- 


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tered in conjunction with the corporeal but tempered 
punishment of a broken law." 

"Then you do not consider that reasoning alone 
would suffice, Captain B., to cure them of their evil 
propensities ? " 

'^ Never y sir; and I would go further, and assert that 
if corporeal punishment was more widely established 
in the criminal courts of Europe, it would — as with 
them — prove the most effectual antidote for petty 
crimes, and crimes of violence, that could be intro- 

" They have instituted that mode of punishment in 
some degree (with success) amongst the criminal 
classes of Great Britain, Captain B.'* 

"Yes, Mr. D., in some degree, but only to an extent 
which is but the echo of what it ought to be. I would 
bring the woman-beater, the young pilferer and hoary- 
headed thief, together with the burglar and violent 
robber, under it; the lacerated back of the last-named 
I would open every morning with a few stripes, until 
he had received his allotted quantity, after which I 
would only board and lodge the villain until his 
wounds were partially closed, then turn him out again 
with the print of the cats upon his inhuman back; 
and until such a course be adopted we need not hope 
to lessen very rapidly our petty criminal calendar, 
nor improve our street morals." 

" I cannot say that I agree with the infliction of 
corporeal punishment, Captain B. I think, however, 
such will not so much be needed ere long, seeing that 
education is being so extensively diffused amongst all 

" You have an extraordinary opinion of the power 
of education, Mr. D. It certainly will do much, but 
it will utterly fail to reach morally those inborn curses 
of society to which I allude. It is a disease with 


them ; a hereditary complaint with thousands, tossed 
from the creative altar, imbibed at the breast, and 
circulating in the very blood, sir; and by starting out 
a little of that venomous fluid with the lash, we apply 
the remedy at once to the root of the disease, and 
which will produce a more lasting effect than years of 
penal servitude. Were such a course adopted, Mr. D., 
I feel convinced that many of those wanton vaga- 
bonds would discover the advantages of honest 
employment, instead of living by crime and at the 
cost of the country; at least it would serve to direct 
their minds to a consideration of the necessity of 
changing their mode of existence." 

" We must agree to differ in our opinions. Captain 
B., respecting the treatment of criminals." 

When reaching the poop after our walk around the 
ship we were startled by a voice from the mast-head 
reporting, " An iceberg three points on the starboard 

" Hallo," said the captain, " I did not anticipate 
meeting any of those polar ornaments here. Southerly 
winds must have been prevailing to force them down 
on this meridian." Our position at this time I here 
give for the benefit of my nautical readers, as the 
captain assured me that he never read nor heard of 
icebergs having been met with in or about our present 
position, which was latitude 44° south, longitude 
119° 30' east ; by referring to the chart it will be found 
a little east of Cape Lewin, and about the " pitch " of 
King George's Sound. 

I was, of course, delighted at the prospect of seeing 
one of those Antarctic Ocean wonders on such a 
glorious clear day, and but for the very natural horror 
I had of the rolling and exalted position of a top- 
gallant yard, I verily believe my curiosity would have 
carried me to that dangerous extremity for a sight, as 


it was not yet visible from the deck ; however, we had 
not long to wait, as the gallant ship was ploughing up 
thirteen miles an hour under what Mr. N. called a 
^* tip-top topgallant breeze and no mistake." 

In a few minutes the report had spread amongst the 
passengers and brought every soul on deck ; and really 
the sight of over six hundred expanded jaws, staring 
mouths, and wondering eyes entirely diverted my 
attention for a time from the object of their deafening 

Soon the immense ice-island was abreast of us and 
a short distance to windward. 

. The captain, having found his distance ofiF and taken 
its angle of elevation, declared the height of it to be 
290 feet. 

Before nightfall we came up to three more of smaller 
dimensions, and being but a short distance to wind- 
ward of one, the captain steered close past it in order 
to gratify all on board with one of the grandest natural 
sights ever witnessed by man. 

I will attempt a description of the one we drew 
near, which had at each extremity a high, bold pro- 
montory, with a space between of 2,000 feet or more ; 
this intervening patch formed a gradual slope from 
the brow of an icy mountain in the background down 
to the water's edge, where the heavy south-west sea 
burst and went forth careering and spreading its hoary 
<:rest over the hill-side with a roaring melody only 
equalled by the thunders of an Alpine avalanche, 
while each alternate volume of water from the face 
of the mountain was met by the succeeding wave, 
creating such a mighty conflict of spray and foam as 
language fails to describe ; at the sight of which the 
whole of our emigrants seemed perfectly paralyzed, and 
when told that the glittering and solid mass before 
them was congealed water, they laughed incredulously. 


Turning to the captain, I asked if he could deter- 
mine in what direction the huge thing was travelling. 

" Judging from its surroundings," said he, " I con- 
sider it is moving in a west-north-west direction — 
obliquely to the wind and waves." 

About midnight we came upon another apparently 
in the last stage of dissolution, and having the advan- 
tage of a clear night, with a full moon, we got a 
splendid view of the high swell bursting with wild 
vengeance ,over an icy saddle which hung as if sus- 
pended between two powerful extremities. 

By ten the following morning we lost sight of the 
last iceberg we encountered during the passage, but 
many days elapsed ere the wonder ceased which their 
appearance had created ; before this occurred we were 
approaching the meridian of New Zealand, where 
each Coolie declared it was too cold for a Mongolian 
to live, even though muffled up in the warm woollen 
winter suits which had been served out to them a few 
days previous, as a protection against the southerly 
cold winds ; and- really the weather had become very 
severe, with frequent squalls of snow and hail ; so cold, 
in short, as to render the poor Coolie almost torpid ;. 
and it was only by dire compulsion that he was pre- 
vailed upon to move from under the covering of his 
coarse bed-rug at all ; however, the captain, with his 
inexhaustible resource, soon provided an antidote for 
their coldness, which we will introduce to you in our 


Contains the Death of a notorious Pirate and his Companion 

in Crime. 

It was a freezing forenoon. The captain came on deck 
in a short, neat-fitting " reefer " buttoned tight around 
him, and seizing me by the arm said, " Accompany 
me to the 'tween decks, where we will amuse ourselves 
for a few minutes." 

" Anything at all," I replied, " to change the 

When we got below he ordered the occupants of one 
bed-shelf, 150 in number, to be piped to a vertical 
position : this done, they were ranked in double file 
and called to attention. 

" Now," said the captain, addressing them, " I am 
very cold this morning." 

This announcement, coming from him, passed over 
the shivering creatures like a snow-blast, and created 
such a furious knee-knocking as was likely soon to 
endanger the perpendicular they had arrived at 

He continued, "The cure for my coldness is ex- 
ercise, and, as many of you never experienced cold 
weather in your lives, I have come down here to in- 
troduce the cure by employing you to run five times 
round the 'tween decks." 

At this announcement (as employ always meant pay 
with the captain) every trembling limb stood still and 
prepared for the run, awaiting the signal to break 

" Away !" roared the captain at length, and oflF they 


Started ; in this manner the whole 600 were run almost 
into fever heat, after which they unanimously declared 
their approval of the captain's cure. 

" Now for a general run by way of finish," said he ; 
"and the distribution of a few thousand cash will 

The last run finished and cash served out, we left 
them organizing races amongst themselves for the cash 
they had received. 

I record the foregoing simply to show the agreeable 
manner Captain B. had of introducing what he might 
have imperatively commanded. 

We are seldom many days without some incident of 
excitement occurring to relieve the monotony : our 
next interesting occurrence will be the Christmas 
rejoicings which must take place this week, that is 
to say, if such will be permitted on board a Coolie 
ship. Inquiring of the captain, he replied in the 
affirmative, saying he was just about to order a general 
feast to be provided for all on board. As he con- 
tinued, " I consider it a day above all others which 
ought to be marked with unusual rejoicings, it being 
one of those days in the lives of men which carry back 
the spirit to happier days unmarked by earthly care : 
away amongst the waking dreams of childhood when 
we used to portray the future in golden pleasures 
never to be realized : then when the elasticity of the 
youthful spirit sprung out on the wings of innocent 
imagination, giving apparent stability to, and feasting 
prospectively on, the radiant future, forgetful and un- 
acquainted with the sad realities of life." 

"And well that it is so, Captain B. Were it 
possible to mar the romance of youth with the bitter 
experience of maturer years, our march from the 
cradle to the grave would be a monotonous existence 


"True, Mr. D., and since the morning manhood 
dawned upon me, I have not found much worth living 
for in the career of vicissitudes to which I have been 
exposed. In short, so clothed in trouble have I been 
all my life as to drive me to the conclusion that, with 
the end thereof, so must cease my troubles eternally : 
there cannot, stcrely, be any such punishment as we 
read of after this miserable life is rubbed out." 

" Rather a sceptical idea. Captain B. ; I never heard 
you express yourself with any tinge of that in your 
conversation before, but rather the reverse." 

"Although it envelops my own mind in an 
atheistical haze, Mr. D., I am careful not to sound the 
fog-horn of doubt or disbelief into the ears of others, 
and with your permission we will drop the subject," he 
concluded, as, turning to the chief officer, he beckoned 
his approach, and gave him a list of animals to be 
slain for a Christmas feast to nearly 700 human beings. 

The evening before Christmas (after the ship was 
cleaned down) it was pleasing to walk around amongst 
the crowds and listen to the buzz of contentment which 
everywhere prevailed, to say nothing of the looks of 
grateful satisfaction which animated every counte- 
nance, nor did the whispering cease amongst the 
Coolies until far into the night 

Inquiring of the interpreter what was the cause and 
the nature of their earnest conversation, he replied — 

"They are just like a lot of school-boys. Can't ga 
to sleep for thinking and talking of the treat to be 
given them to-morrow ; in fact," said he, " they only 
stand upon a par with European lads of twelve years 
old, and just require such teinpered treatment." 

" Am I to understand, Mr. P., that you have found 
them of small mental capacity as a rule } " 

" Precisely so, sir ; amused by trifles and prone to 
do wrong." 


" How does it happen that the most of those other- 
wise ignorant creatures can read, Mr. P. ? " 

" They are very willing at all times to teach one 
another that art. We have several reading classes 
self-organized amongst them here, and it is amusing to 
listen to them singing their way through a fable, or 
what we should call a childish or nursery tale with 
perhaps a dozen pair of ears swallowing the words a3 
they fall from the reader in musical cadence." 

We need not expatiate upon the entertainment and 
rejoicings of the following day ; let it suffice to know 
that all passed off to the captain's entire satisfaction : 
nor shall we dwell upon the choice delicacies under 
which our saloon table groaned toward the dinner- 
hour ; of the fish, flesh and fowl, of various climes, 
which took a passage there, followed by delicious pre- 
serves, I had almost said, from every zone ; to say 
nothing of what Mr. N. called " the necessary wash- 
ings down, which were all tip-top, and no mistake." 

The morning after Christmas we were surprised to 
find, when coming on deck, one of the most exemplary 
of our Coolies tied a prisoner to the barricade. 

"Hallo!" said the captain to the officer in charge, 
*' crime still moving about amongst us ! Of what has 
that man been guilty, sir, do you know ? " 

" I do not, sir ; he has just been brought to the 
gratings by the constable in charge of him. I have 
not yet inquired into the case." 

On approaching the offender the policeman charged 
him witii the crime of assault and violence. 

" Is that really true ? " said the captain to the man* 

" Yes, sir," was the immediate reply. 

On hearing the prisoner's account of the affair we 
were not a little surprised. It stood thus : — 

A number of the Coolies were indulging in eulo- 
giums upon the captain's kindness, generosity, and 



care of them, when a vile scoundrel coming up chimed 
in, " It's all very fine, but I don't see that he is any 
more kind than he ought to be. He should consider 
himself very lucky that he lives to show kindness at 
all, as it is more than some of us expected or intended 
when we left China." 

This bold and daring delivery brought about the 
head of its author a storm of abuse, in conjunction 
with the prisoner's heavy arm, who jumped to his feet 
and felled the villain in an instant, for which he was 
taken in custody. 

" Let the author of such treasonable language be 
brought here," said the captain, " that we may know 
him in future ; also release the man before you." 

When he appeared, we were surprised to find that 
he was none other than the unmitigated scoundrel 
who bore Mr. N.'s "optical brand," the leading 
projector of the mutiny at Macao. 

" It is you, is it T said the captain as he drew near. 
" Have you already forgotten the conspiracy at Macao, 
your punishment, and your vow to me } \iyoti have, 
/ have not ; and as I live, if you be found guilty YOU 


He was arraigned for treason, tried, and found 
giiilty of disseminating the same throughout the ship. 

The captain explained to him the dangerous nature 
of his crime, but the villain seemed totally indifferent ; 
seeing which he was told that, as there was a danger 
in permitting him to live, it would be necessary to 
run him up to the yard-arm, a sacrifice for peace 
amongst the emigrants; then, turning to the chief 
officer, the captain directed him to prepare for the 
•execution of the criminal. 

" Do you really intend to execute him T I asked. 

" You will see the result presently, Mr. D. I may, 
or may not, as circumstances shall direct The 


prisoner," he continued, " is one of those hardened 
and dangerous fiends who, I believe, has spilt the 
blood of many an innocent man and escaped un- 
scathed, and now I am determined to try the effect of 
permitting him to witness the deliberate preparation 
for his own execution." 

" Fasten his hands behind him," was the next com- 
mand. By this time the rope and pulley were ready, 
and the wretch (whose looks declared his familiarity 
with deeds of blood) was led up to the executioner, 
who stood by the captain's side, with the noose in 
his hand, looking volumes of wrath at his victim. 

" Tie over his head the napkin of death," said the 
captain, " and place your men at the neck-line and let 
his end be speedy." 

These further preparations being completed, the 
•captain addressed the doomed man, saying, " I now 
give you five minutes to prepare for death." 

The stillness of a sepulchre was around us at this 
moment, and every eye stood out awaiting to witness 
the execution of one who — it was well known to 
many of the passengers — had led a life of cold- 
-blooded butchery. 

The oppressive silence was once more broken by 
the captain again addressing the prisoner, saying 
{while ordering the noose around his neck), "You 
have but two minutes more ere eternity finds you out, 
therefore prepare yourself for this terrific leap into 
£t€rnal Iielir 

As he concluded, a desperate yell was heard, which 
startled every soul again to a feeling of life. It was the 
scream of a nature burst, and a fierce spirit conquered. 

This awful scene is vividly before me still. I can 
hear those penitential groans ringing in my ears, and 
see the cool, stern look of the captain as he declared, 
^* One minute more, and then you die." 



At this the painful wailing and lamentation of the 
miserable man grew big with such proofs as led the 
captain to believe him thoroughly sincere in his 
protestations to lead a good life for all time to come. 

"Yes," said the captain at length in a sort of 
soliloquy. " It is only a look into eternal damnation 
that will break such hardened fiends as you. Do you 
think I ought to spare your life at this, the eleventh 
hour ?" 

" Oh, sir, let me live," was the piteous supplication, 
" that I may have an opportunity of leading a better 
life than the past" 

" What has your past life been ?" said the captain 
with stern emphasis. 

" Will you promise to let me live even if my reply 
displeases you ?" was the trembling question. 

" Promises may be broken," said the captain with 
freezing significance. 

" True," said the man, "but never yet by you, sir." 

" Such being the case, you ought now to be dangling 
at the yard-arm ; however, you have my promise," 
said he, as he ordered the rope from his neck, head to 
be uncovered, and hands unbound ; "and now," he 
concluded, " what has your past life been } Speak 
the truth." 

"The life of a pirate," was the almost inaudible 

" As I concluded," said the captain, and continued, 
" How many innocent men do you think you have 
murdered during your past career ?" 

" I cannot count," was the horrifying answer. 

"Gracious heaven !" said the captain. "When and 
where was your last murderous onslaught V he added. 

" Not long ago," said the wretch, " at the Saddle 
Islands, near Shanghai, on board of an English 


" My God !" said the captain, as he sprung at the 
terrified villain like a suddenly-aroused tiger, exclaiming> 
" The ship of a friend, and one of his murderers here." 

He held the wretch by the throat until I recalled 
him to a sense of the fact that he was unconsciously 
strangling the man : then flinging him off, he said, 
" But for my promise, thou blood-guilty villain, I would 
have hurled thee into the boiling sea. Cross not 
my path, however, while you are here, lest my promise 
fail me in my regard for a murdered friend." 

The unhappy author of all this trouble stared after 
the receding figure of the captain with an inexpressible 
wildness impossible to conceive ; then, turning sud^ 
denly round with uplifted arms and the howl of a 
maniac, rushed forward and disappeared into the 
hospital. He had gone mad. 

Three days sufficed to end this creature's career, 
during which time he lay surrounded with spirits of 
the murdered dead, who (as he declared in his mad 
ravings) were butchered principally by himself and a 
companion on board, and whose spirits were now all 
around him pinching pieces out of every limb, under 
the tortures of which he groaned out the last few days 
of his miserable life. 

Peruse this sad tale again, ye slumbering atheists, 
and ask your chaotic souls why this wretched man 
(untutored save in crimes of deepest dye) should thus 
declare the existence of an avenging God and eternity 
no region of romance. 

Commit it to heart, ye Godless infidels, and over it 
dream of that " STILL SMALL VOICE " which ere long 
must awaken the echoes of your smothered and torpid 

It has more the appearance of extravagant romance 
than a record of serious truth : 'tis a sad and awful 
truth, nevertheless. 


I saw him die, and as the soul was about to wing its 
fearful flight, the spectators stood aghast until the 
closing of the final struggle which left the body so 
twisted and distorted that his most intimate acquaint- 
ance failed to recognize in the cramped and shape- 
less corpse the lifeless body of his companion of last 

So passed away the life of one who joined our ex- 
pedition with several others for the express purpose of 
organizing a grand conspiracy for murder and plunder: 
nor did it end with him. Two days after another case 
of madness was reported, which proved, upon inquiry, 
to be none other than the murderous companion of 
the last maniac, and another of the Macao mutineers. 

The madness of this one was of a sullen and ob- 
stinate nature ; fearless of every one except his keeper 
and the captain. 

Of the latter his terror appeared of an indescribable 

On the captain's occasional visits to the hospital^ 
the madman could be seen watching with horror- 
struck intensity as if he had before his bloodshot eyes 
the Prince of Darkness moving about in his adminis- 
trations amongst the doomed, and should the captain's 
eye alight upon him, he had not the power to with- 
draw his wild gaze, but would recoil, terror-struck, like 
Belshazzar when he beheld the ominous handwriting 
upon the wall, but dare not fly, believing escape to be 

On the near approach of the captain, his frenzy 
became appalling, while the froth of mad desperation 
could be seen exuding between his clenched teeth ; at 
length he would utter a piercing scream and cover his 
head with the bedclothes, watching between times 
the movements of the captain until he withdrew. 

"Heart-rending spectacle," said the captain one 


day as we moved away ; " such sights as these are 
enough to startle the idea of a'God in the mind of a 

"True, Captain B., and one might ask, Can 
Paine's * Age of Reason ' afford a solution to the last 
case, or the wisdom of a Voltaire find it out ? Here 
IS a man who, I am told, was bom amongst vice and 
swaddled in crimes too horrible to recount ; one to 
whom the name of God was never known, and the 
existence of a SOUL in him almost past finding out ; bom 
in the island atmosphere of a pirate's home, far from the 
haunts of honest men, reared to live by plunder on 
the sea, and gaining such by marching over the 
murdered dead of his own species." 

" That is so, Mr. D., but in his turn he is hunted 
down by others ; captured, it may be, and handed 
over to pay the penalty of his crimes by death. What 
do you think is the reasoning of such bloodthirsty 
villains in this matter ? It is that of a hoary-headed 
(reformed) pirate to me once : he said, * We never 
could see any difference between our capturing and 
plundering English ships on our seas and that of 
British men-of-war capturing, confiscating, and de- 
stroying our junks, besides giving us up to be hanged.* 
Such was, and is, the reasoning of the pirate," he con- 
cluded, **and such was the species of reasoning of 
that last hardened victim until he was told to prepare 
for a leap into eternal hell. * Eternal hell,* thought 
he, and as the idea flashed through his darkened 
mind that never-to-be-knowUy tmaccotintable something 
awoke to life in him and presented a retrospection of 
murderous deeds through the noose which was about 
to accomplish his end. Such was the case I believe, 
Mr. D., and the result of that 'still small voice' 
awakening we already know, and the effect upon my 
own mind is that of quenching a profusion of sceptical 


ideas which were gathering thick and fast around my 
own soul." 

Heard ye our captain's declaration, ye labouring 
infidels ? If so, draw near and watch this tumbling 
proselyte to atheism reclaimed. Observe him through 
your spiritual medium of thick darkness stand 
reasoning over a pirate's grave ; or go down with 
him into the deep, hand in hand, into a maniac's tombj 
and pluck from the dead that indescribable birthright 
of man — that still soft whisper of a God and an 
Eternity — the echoes of which dethroned his reason 
and brought him to a madman's grave. 

A very few days brought the last ravings of the 
second to a close; and as the captain approached him 
and beheld the wide, glaring eyes standing fiercely 
out even in death, he said, " Would that I could have 
taken the last photographic impression from those fierce 
demoniacal eyes ; I believe they would have revealed 
a terrible picture from beyond the grave, for in that 
pirate's lifeless eyes can be seen the settled imprint of 
a living hell. Roll him up in his winding-sheet and 
cast him forth," he concluded as we departed. 

" It appears to me. Captain B.," said I, " that since 
the death of the first pirate there is not one of that 
band of bloodthirsty ruffians but trembles at your 
presence, and the interpreter tells me that most of 
them look upon you as an avenging angel sent amongst 

" No doubt, Mr. D. It follows as a consequence of 
their guilt, ignorance, and superstition ; and I must 
confess that I never had in my life such an illustration 
of accusing consciences as we have here. However, I 
will endeavour to turn it to the best account for their 
future welfare. There never was a better opportunity 
afforded any one for reclaiming fallen human beings 
than I have at present, seeing that with the confession. 


madness, and death of the first pirate, all hopes of 
mutiny, murder, and plunder ceased, while in the 
winding-sheet of the one now about to be cast forth 
the last spark of courage is entombed. Consequently, 
with two such terrible warnings from the dead, it will 
be a much easier task for me to mould the remainder 
of them into something more approaching a correct 
representation of what is termed 

" * The noblest work of God.' " 


The last Criminals. 

After the death of the last pirate crime appeared to 
have ceased, and the time had been passing pleasantly 
along with every one on board ; with the Coolies it was 
filled in with gambling, gymnastic exercises, music, 
and rude theatricals, while the crew passed their spare 
time in music, dancing, singing, and a variety of manly 
sports, the most prominent of which being military 
exercise and big-gun drill. 

We were far past New Zealand, and everything 
bidding fair for a speedy termination to the voyage, 
when the captain came on deck, and after a frowning" 
but courteous salute to the officer in charge of the ship^ 
requested him to send for the second doctor. 

I asked if anything was wrong. 

" Yes," was the reply, " everything is wrong in one 
quarter this morning, sir. I was lulled into the belief 
that law-breaking had long since ceased, but I find by 
a report to-day that it has taken another turn and is 
now in the ascending node in earnest. It is reported 
that the doctors and second interpreter (Chinamen) are 
the present subjects to be dealt with. You must 
know," he continued, "that those scamps make a 
point of collecting all the moneys they can lay hold 
of amongst the Coolies prior to the ship's arrival, by 
selling for extortionate prices cakes, nuts, opium, &c., 
which they provide for that purpose before leaving 
China. Knowing that such supplies had been brought 
on board at Macao, I inserted a clause in their in- 


structions bearing upon this particular crime, thinking 
such would suffice to check their proceedings in that 
direction. I find, however, it has not had the desired 
effect ; consequently they are now to be called to 
account for the * deeds done in the body/ " 

As he concluded, the second doctor made his 
appearance, and (to my surprise) the captain good- 
humouredly commenced by inquiring how many were 
on the sick list. 

"Twelve, sir," said this worse than useless prac- 

" What are their diseases ?" 

" Dysentery and skin-sores, sir." 

" How many have died since we left China V 

At this question the fellow changed colour some- 
what, knowing how well the captain knew all the 
particulars he was asking, and while beginning to 
fear such questionings were pointing toward some 
pending calamity, the doctor mechanically answered,. 
" Twenty-two, sir." 

"Then," resumed the captain, "as I receive 'five 
dollars a head for all landed alive and not blind,' I 
purpose making you pay me a like sum for every 
dead man, as I consider their death in a great measure 
attributable to your incompetence." 

The doctors well knew their utter ignorance of 
medical duties ; so worthless, indeed, were they that 
the doctoring of all on board had to be undertaken by 
the captain some four weeks previous to this ; conse- 
quently the man looked very demurely at the captain^ 
and told him that he had done his very best for the 
sick, although he was also sensible that the said 
" best " was altogether inadequate, as the captain had 
cured cases, when they had given them up ; therefore 
he was quite willing to pay the demand upon him on 
arrival at Peru. 


" Quite so," said the captain, and continued — 

" Were those dollars you gave into my custody for 
safe keeping all the money you possessed when leaving 
China ?" 

" Yes, sir, with the exception of some loose cash." 

"You are quite sure you had no more dollars ?" 

" No more, sir." 

The captain then ordered the boxes of the doctor to 
be brought for examination. 

"I will go and point them out," was the imme- 
diate suggestion of this guilty-looking Mongolian 

"I do not doubt you," said the captain, with 
piercing sarcasm, " but not till you are requested. Stay 
where you are*' 

"Of what has he been guilty.?" I asked. 

" Extorting fees from the sick, is the report ; and ' 
should he be found guilty, his punishment will be 

On the boxes being examined, the first one pro- 
duced from one of its remotest corners a stocking, in 
which was carefully rolled up the "loose cash" above 
alluded to. 

" Is this, then, all the money you possess ?" said the 
captain. " Be truthful in your reply." 

" Yes, sir ; I have not any other cash in my pos- 

" Search the other box with particular care," said 
the captain ; whereupon the doctor became exceed- 
ingly uneasy, while exhibiting a wonderful anxiety to 
assist in the operation, but was prevented by the 
mandate, " Stand back, sir, lest the exertion, or the 
discovery of another wealthy stocking, make you 

Just as he concluded, a deposit account of DOLLARS 
leaped from the bottom of this trunk, followed by 


a whole army of smaller coin, at sight of which the 
doctor faltered out — 

" Oh, I forgot all about that money for the moment.*' 

"And how you obtained it also, I presume," said 
the captain, and continued, " How came you possessed 
of those fifteen dollars ? Speak the truth, or I will 
seize you up and flog you as I would a common 

Knowing the captain's horror of a lie, and feeling 
he had already been untruthful in the matter, the 
wretch stood silent, guilty, and self-condemned. 

" Bring here the men you have extorted this money 
from," said the captain, "that I may know the detailed 
particulars and extent of your crime, and fail not to 
produce them all. Accompany him, Mr. P.," said he 
to the first interpreter, " and see that he tamper not 
with the victims." 

In a few minutes eight Coolies were before us, each 
one looking as if about to be tried as the perpetrator 
of a gigantic robbery ; but on discovering the nature 
of the investigation, their delight was amply displayed 
by a full and lucid exposition of the means employed 
by the criminal for purposes of extortion. 

The first one proceeds : " I was very ill shortly after 
leaving Java, from eating too much fruit, and for 
several days I gradually grew worse ; at last I began 
to think I should die, so I asked that doctor if he 
would acquaint you of my case, as I imagined you 
might cure me as well as your own crew ; but he told 
me that you did not understand curing Chinamen, at 
the same time asking me if I had any money. 

" I told him I had a couple of dollars. 

" * Well,' said he, * if you let me have them, I will 
undertake to cure you in a few days.* 

" I of course was only too glad to give anything I 
had to be cured ; the result was that on the fourth 


day I was able to get about, and on the fifth was as 
well as ever ; but since I have seen you cure so many 
Chinamen for nothing, whom he certainly would have 
killed, I have demanded back my dollars, but the 
fellow can't understand that at all." 

The depositions of the others were of the same 
nature, with the exception of two poor ignorant crea- 
tures, who thought the doctor was right in telling 
them that they had to pay for their medicines. 

At the close of the investigation the captain re- 
turned the Coolies their money, but found only ten 
dollars accounted for. Turning upon the culprit a 
look of deep meaning, he demanded in that low, stern, 
ominous manner the production of the others to whom 
the balance of the money belonged. 

" They are dead, sir," said the trembling villain. 

"Dead!" was the low response of the captain, re- 
peating in a gloomy soliloquy, " DEAD ! Then you 
failed to drag it out of them while living, therefore 
they conveniently died, leaving nothing in the way of 
your plundering their little all. Yes," he resumed, 
looking at the scoundrel, " you have it in your sinister 
eye, and that low villainous forehead of yours proves 
you equal to any such enormity. 

" Seize him up to the gratings," he concluded, " and 
bring here the 'cats,' that we may deal him out a 
punishment he will remember through life, which shall 
be that each injured Coolie living share in the adminis- 
tration of his punishment ; and you, boatswain, will 
serve him out one dozen for the dead." 

The shrieks of this heartless monster were deafening 
as the ** cats " passed from hand to hand of each fresh 
operator ; and as the last one delivered them into the 
hand of the boatswain to deal out vengeance for the 
dead, he fainted through terror and pain. 

" Unbind him and administer a restorative," said 


the captain. After recovering he was again seized 

" Tell me," said the captain before laying on the 
lash again, " was that money given to you by those men 
now dead, or did you hasten their end to obtain it Y* 

" I took it after they died, sir, but I did not kill 
them," he groaned. 

" That acknowledgment is enough to warrant the 
-correctness of my suspicions," said the captain ; " there- 
fore, boatswain, you will print the result of those 
suspicions upon his swelling back." 

Flogging finished, he was handed over to his co- 
practitioner No. I, to dress his wounds, together with 
an intimation from the captain that he (the first 
doctor) would be required in the course of an hour at 
a consultation respecting the sufficiency of medical 
supplies yet remaining. 

Pleased that he had found favour and was to be 
consulted in this matter, he gave a most satisfactory 
" Ha !" and withdrew, taking his unfortunate assistant 
with him to the hospital. 

At the expiration of an hour he appeared big with 
all the information the captain might require, and 
infinitely more than was required of him. 

" Respecting the medical supplies, doctor," said 
the captain, "do you think they will last out the 
voyage ?" 

" Oh yes, sir," replied this opium-consuming apology 
for a doctor; "unless," he resumed, "a very great 
amount of sickness indeed break out on board." 

" Then you do not think under such circumstances 
there would be enough ?" 

" I don't think there would, sir." 

" I am afraid our opium will not last out as it is, 
doctor, unless you can spare me a little from your 
private stock, which was pretty large when leaving 


China I understand, but I suppose you have not much 
to spare, seeing you use such quantities of it." 

" My supplies will just last me out the voyage, sir," 
replied the doctor, as he changed colour, and looked 
about as if a thunderbolt was preparing to strike him 

"Almost done, eh } I presumed so," said the 
captain, as he examined the fellow's guilty counte- 
nance, and resumed, "If your opium supplies are so 
low, sir, how came it to pass that you were discovered 
retailing it amongst the passengers and charging for 
the same tenfold its value V 

" I have not sold any to the Coolies, sir." 

" Dare to repeat that falsehood, and I will flog you 
for perjury. Did you not, yesterday, between the 
hours of 10 and ii a.m., sell to Coolie No. 231 a 
small portion of opium for which you charged the 
enormous sum of one dollar ? Beware, sir," concluded 
the captain, " one more lie will bring you under the 
lash also." 

The fellow looked up as if to inquire if the captain 
was omnipresent, but making no reply. Coolie No. 
231 was ordered to be produced, together with the 
boxes of the doctor. 

" Before going into an investigation of the matter," 
said the captain (as the above-named articles came to 
hand), " I give you another opportunity of honestly 
confessing your guilt. Did you, or did you not sell 
opium to that Coolie ?" 

" I did, sir," at length escaped the fellow in a half 

" I need not ask you why you did it, for I verily 
believe the inherent thirst for the ' almighty dollar ' 
planted in the head and heart of every one of you 
would lead such as you to commit murder for a single 
'Mexicaa' Search his boxes well," he concluded. 


" and all opium found therein, hand it over to my 

The search produced about a pound of this valuable 
extract, which was, of course, confiscated. 

" Now," said the captain, " return the dollar to the 
Coolie, and henceforth your opium will be served out 
daily along with the others, in much reduced quantities 
of course ; and should you be found committing your- 
self in any way again, your supply will be stopped and 
your person dealt with in quite a different manner. 
Be off with you for the present, although no doubt I 
may require you to answer to sundry other charges 
which may transpire upon further investigation." 

This was giving the doctor an opportunity of 
" squaring " matters with others whom he had victim- 
ized, and which (we subsequently learned) he availed 
himself of. 

The second interpreter was the next one called to 

" Let him be brought here by two or more stout 
constables tmceremonioiislyy^ said the captain. 

In a few minutes he was dragged up, and appeared 
under protest of rough handling. 

"Yes, my friend," was the captain*s rejoinder, 
"such usage seems to have rufHed your temper 
slightly, but if you are not careful in answering such 
questions as I am about to put to you, the probability 
is that I may rufHe your bare back before I have done 
with you. 

" In the first place then, when did you commence 
assisting the doctors to gather in the loose moneys of 
the passengers ? Of course you all took a fair start at 
the reaping." 

" I don't understand you, sir." 

" That reply in itself may be verbally true, still the 



question has proved so far satisfactory, inasmuch as it 
has served to arouse a guilty conscience, distinctly 
visible to me through those luminous head-lights of 

" Now sir," continued the captain, " the treatment 
you will receive must entirely depend upon the TRUTH 
of your statements, and I trust you will save me the 
trouble of calling evidence against you. 

" How much money have you taken from the 
Coolies by the unlawful sale of cakes and nuts since 
last Monday morning } I believe that was the time 
you first broke the law." 

This crest-fallen being almost unconsciously an- 
swered, "Eight, sir." 

" Eight, eh t You are quite sure it is not ten, of 
course T 

" It might be nine, sir, but I am certain it is not 

" How much more of those saleable articles have 
you for disposal Y' 

" One tub of cakes and one of nuts, sir ; but I don't 
intend selling any more to the Coolies." 

** Very good," said the captain, " I will see that your 
honourable intentions are sacredly observed." 

" Have the tubs brought here," was the next order, 
"and pipe the Coolies to muster in front of the 

This done and the said tubs produced (each weigh- 
ing about thirty pounds), our law-breaking functionary 
was made to take up a position on the fore part of the 
poop, and commence throwing the contents of the 
tubs amongst the scrambling crowd of Coolies 
assembled below. 

" Now," said the captain, when he started, " heave 
them softly away, and study not to hurt any of those 


harmless creatures down there, lest it ruffle my 
temper; and I feel convinced you would not willingly 
do that." 

This precaution was decidedly required, for no 
sooner had he commenced than from the tantalizing 
lungs of a score or two of the delighted multitude was 
heard issuing amid peals of uproarious laughter, 
" What is the price of your cakes ?" and " How do yoii 
sell your nuts ?" 

" Look here," said the mate (approaching one of the 
most noisy, and seizing him by the tail), " if you don't 
blow your cursed boiler off with a precious sight less 
row, I'll blessed soon ascertain whatj/t7/<rnut is worth, 
see whether it be a bladder of lard or simply a hairless 
finish to your superstructure, you wori-at-a-raffle- 
looking bundle of monthly parts." 

Having completed the emptying of the tubs, he was 
ordered to heave them overboard and produce the 
money he had realized by the unlawful sales he had 

The amount being handed in, it was converted into 
copper cash by the captain, and the poor fellow was 
then made to toss them also amongst the delighted 

" Serves him right," roared a stentorian voice from 
the crowd as he reluctantly began ; " he has no more 
right to break the law than we have.'* 

"I should like to break your cursed jaw-bone," 
growled the interpreter as he bent his arm and sent 
a handful of cash straight at the fellow's head. 

" Take care," said the captain, who observed the 
movement ; ** you stand even yet, sir, under the 
shadow of the cats ; therefore perform your task 
philosophically, and we shall part the better friends. 

" Now," said the captain when he had finished, 


" you have expiated your crime with a much better 
grace than I thought you capable of, but the next 
time you break the law, your punishment will not be 
so (physically) agreeable. 

" Go," he concluded, " and remember that your 
especial duty as second interpreter is to watch that the 
regulations be not broken with impunity, not forgetting 
that example combined with precept may accomplish 
much more than I care to bring about by the adminis- 
tration of the lash." 

"How did you get at the facts of these cases, 
Captain B.?" 

" In addition to the staff of constables on board, I 
have two detectives, Mr. D., without whose valuable aid 
my anxiety would be immeasurably increased, those 
detectives being the chief officer's servant and my own : 
to the latter especially I am much indebted, so also 
are the Coolies, although they know it not, as his 
reports of irregularities have often enabled me to effect 
a timely cure before they reached the proportions of 
corporeal punishment." 

Our next operation on board was of a sanitary 
nature, viz., the clearing a\v^ay of as many bed-shelves 
as possible, in order to prevent the further spread of 
what our captain termed creeping wayfarers. 

About a week after they were cleared away the last 
case of crime occurred, as the captain and I were 
running over the incidents of the voyage in review. 

" Yes," he replied, as I finished my comments on a 
few of them, "you might present those facts in a well- 
ordered and interesting volume, which would serve to 
disabuse the public mind of false impressions enter- 
tained respecting the Coolie traffic and kidnapping ; 
adding thereto a copy of the regulations which have 
served our purpose so very admirably ; such might 


assist others in organizing a like multitude of Coolie 

" If you do not object to the exposition, Captain B., 
I will gladly attempt the task." 

" Do as you please in the matter ; but should you 
resolve on doing so, I have one request to make, and 
that is, be truthful in your expositions, remembering 
that unembellished facts are more to be desired in a 
work of such a nature than lavishly adorned fiction. 
However, the facts you will be compelled to record 
are in themselves so incredible that it will require no 
fictitious garlands to render them more so. Hallo ! " 
said he, springing to his feet at the sound of a distur- 
bance on the main deck, " what is all this about } " 
Looking in the direction of the sound, we beheld a 
Coolie being dragged out of the main hatch by several 

" By thunder ! " said the mate, drawing near. " Yes. 
Tm blowed if it ain't another of the cursed mutineers 
at Macao. I told you so, Mr. D. I told you we 
should have to string those black-hearted reptiles up 
before the voyage was done." 

" I would much rather it had not occurred," said 
the captain ; " but perhaps it is only a venial offence. 
We will inquire into it." 

We were unfortunately disappointed as to the 
veniality of the offence committed, as the evidence 
proved him guilty of plundering the box of another, 
and threatening to murder the injured man if he 
dared to report the case ; nor was it reported until 
several days elapsed. 

While the evidence was being heard the prisoner 
was sobbing piteously, fearing apparently the conse- 
quences of his guilt. 

" Have you forgotten your vow to me at Macao/' 


asked the captain, " when on your knees you swore 
by the sun never to break the law again on pain of 
being beheaded ? " 

" I don't remember, sir," was the faltering reply. 

The captain said no more, but turned to his servant 
and sent him for his sword ; when it was brought he 
called for a chopping-block and the remaining co- 
operator in the projected tragedy at Macao. When 
the fellow appeared he was asked if he remembered 
the vow he made, in conjunction with the prisoner, at 

" Oh yes, sir ; I recollect it perfectly, and he ought 
to pay the penalty, seeing he has broken it." 

" Do you notice the sympathy ? " said the captain 
to me. " It would delight that heartless wretch to 
see the head of his companion roll from that block ; 
such villains gloat over the spilling of human blood, 
having been reared to witness so much of it from 

" Do you purpose decapitating the poor creature ? *' 
I inquired. 

" You will see in a few minutes what will be done ; 
my present intention is to teach him the value of 


The block was placed near the condemned man, 
and four stout fellows were called, who seized him anjl 
stretched him out, laying the head in position for 

" Now, sir," said the captain, " have these prepara- 
tions aided your memory in any degree } " 

" Oh yes," groaned the man. " It was fear induced 
me to tell you a lie ; but I beg you will have mercy 
this one time more, and I will remember it all my 

"/ cannot believe yon^' said the captain, "as you 


have already told me a lie ; had you spoken the 
truth at first concerning your vow, I might have 
mitigated your punishment, but now it is too late ; 

therefore " with this word the captain raised his 

sword arm ; as he did so the wretched man twisted 
his head round and looked up from the block, with his 
eyes starting from their sockets, and implored forgive- 
ness, and if ever he told another lie may he be 
struck dead on the spot. 

" / cannot believe yoUj^ was the cold and stern 
reply ; " therefore you have five minutes more to pre- 
pare for death." 

Loud were the groans of the unfortunate man, and 
his promises of better conduct fast and furious ; but 
to all his promises the apparently heartless reply was, 
** I can7iot believe yoUy having told me a lie already." 

At this moment something gave way aloft with a 
terrific noise just above our heads, which caused every 
one to jump to his feet in the interest of self. No 
sooner was the prisoner released by the four men 
springing to their feet than he made off, nor was he 
found all day by the mate, though well searched for ; 
it was concluded by some that he had gone overboard 
and drowned himself, in order to be found in the next 
world with a head on his shoulders. 

It appeared that the noise was caused by letting go 
some of the chain sheets above our head, and had been 
prearranged by the captain, in order that the prisoner 
might escape in the confusion, the arrangement being 
that the seamen attending were quietly to let fly the 
topgallant sheets at a given motion of the captain's 
sword. Consequently the criminal escaped, much to 
the apparent annoyance of the captain, but at the same 
time to his intense gratification. 

" Make it appear that you search well for him, Mr. 


N.," said the captain, " but see that he be not again 
brought here." 

" By thunder," said the mate (after a fruitless search), 
" that precious round-head has passed itself overboard 
with body attached, I do believe, for Tm blowed if I 
can find the lucky escapement in any corner of the 
blessed ship." 

" There is very little fear of any of them committing 
such a rash act at this late period of the voyage," said 
the captain ; " I dare say, had you looked under the 
bowsprit in the hospital, you might have discovered 
him rolled up inside a few empty rice-bags ; however, 
do not now disturb him ; he will turn up when he 
thinks the storm is over," which he did, and from the 
very spot suggested by the captain, where for three 
days he had been fed and cared for by the hospital 
attendants. So passed away the last criminal on 

A few days after this event " Land oh ! " was heard 
at early morning from the mast-head, which proved to 
be San Gallon, one of the Chincha group of islands 
on the coast of Peru. 

" Land oh ! " There is a charm in the sound even 
to the transported felon and the slave, but to the 
mariner and the free what rapture it brings ! 

The first desire such a sound awakens is to behold 
it and see if in our imagination we have correctly por- 
trayed its general outline and feature; such at least 
appeared to be the case with our Coolies, as the bold 
outline of the Andes presented their dark fronts 
against the clear blue sky. 

As the day advanced the wind died away, and by 
close of twilight it was calm, with a thin haze over the 
land, and a heavy ocean swell rolling in upon the 
iron-bound coast, the nature of which is bold and 


precipitous, with sundry outlying islets where we 

The night was cloudless overhead, and nothing 
broke the stillness except the flapping of the heavy 
sails at every roll until about midnight, when the first 
booming sound of the distant " breakers '* reached our 

By 2 a.m. the noise became perfectly distinct to 
my senses, ringing in my ear like the exultant shouts 
of Death rejoicing at the approaching feast of human 

By four o'clock the thunders from the beetling cliffs 
had awakened the sleepers in the hold, who gathered 
under the hatch-gratings in a dense mass, asking 
questions, and listening in breathless terror at each 
succeeding echo from the shore. 

All night the captain had been walking about the 
deck incessantly smoking cigars with an air of com- 
posure scarcely warrantable (/ thought) under the 
circumstances ; but now as I look into his face and 
ask what he thinks of our position, I fancy there 
appears a settled look of calm despair as he replies in 
feigned cheerfulness, " Oh, we shall have a breeze by 
daylight no doubt." 

Daylight, I thought ; two long hours to wait and 
the knell of death ringing in our ears. 

" How far do you think we are off the shore ?" I 

" Allowing a liberal drift," said he, " I judge the land 
is yet eight miles distant ; there are," he continued, 
" certain states of the atmosphere which are favourable 
for the conveyance of sound to incredible distances ; 
a proof of which I once had when I made myself dis- 
tinctly heard, in a calm night at sea, fully two miles 
off, and with comparatively little effort In our case 


234 THE VOYAGE, ' 

to-night, seeing the shore is high, bold, and steep too, 
the sound increased by the echo of the cliffs is sent 
back upon our ears with unusual distinctness/* 

" One would hardly think it possible to hear the 
sound of 'breakers' so distinctly at eight miles 

The noise by this time appeared to me as if the 
next roll of the helpless vessel would launch her on 
the fatal rocks and the whole multitude into eternity. 

By five o'clock the excitement of the Coolies had 
become audible ; and, not being permitted on deck, they 
were anxious to have one look at the captain, who, 
when he appeared, assured them of their safety, and 
commanded quietness amongst them. This seemed 
amply sufficient for all of them : they knew and felt 
the captain would not tell them a lie ; consequently 
they were satisfied, nor did we hear another whisper 
amongst them. 

Break of day at length appeared, and every eye 
was straining through the opening dawn expecting to 
find death awaiting them at daylight ; however, all 
were happily disappointed to find the breakers not 
even visible, being yet six miles distant from the 

At half-past eight a breeze sprung up, and by four 
the same afternoon we anchored in the bay of Callao 
(after a hundred and two days' passage), the cleanest 
ship in the fleet, having been painted inside and out 
before our arrival. 

Our passengers were all in excellent condition, and 
(what was considered a most singular occurrence) not 
a solitary case of scurvy amongst them, although 
some of them had been nearly six months on board ; 
this I was subsequently informed was never known 
before with such a number of emigrants. The absence 


of scurvy was attributed by the captain to the treat- 
ment he subjected the drinking water to twice every 
Aveek for six weeks prior to our arrival, and which was 
the mixing of six gallons of ordinary port wine (of 
which we had plenty), together with a gallon of anti- 
scorbutic medicine, amongst the water in the drinking 
tank, which mixture the Coolies drank with great 
avidity and enjoyment, declaring it as good as " sam 

The labour market standing much in need of sup- 
plies when we arrived, it was not long ere we had a 
clearance of our cargo. 

It was a painful scene at times to see numbers of 
the Coolies gathering about the captain in tears, 
praying he would take them with him, and that they 
would serve him so faithfully. To such an extent was 
this carried, that the captain, to escape their entreaties, 
had to take up his quarters on shore until all were 
taken aAvay. 

The Coolies are here employed principally as agri- 
cultural labourers, and in Peru it is said great care is 
taken of them ; in proof of which many have been 
known to rise to wealth and position, pay their way 
back to China, and, when there, gamble the money 
they had accumulated away, and afterwards (when 
ruined by that curse of China, the gambling-house) 
enter voluntarily for a second period of service in the 
country. We had such cases on board our vessel ; 
consequently I must give it as my closing opinion that 
the majority are much better off in Peru than vege- 
tating out a miserable existence in their own native 
land, where poverty and wretchedness abound in their 
most hideous forms. Still, the kidnapping in its 
essence is abhorrent, and repugnant to modern feel- 
ing, and ought to call loudly to all European Powers 


who may have a voice in preventing it to draw the 
sword of intervention on the Coolie's behalf, and 
endeavour to compel those nations who countenance 
the traffic by a want of vigilance to set themselves to 
the task of examining into the details of the trade 
more minutely, and with a view to its ultimate sup- 

After a two months' stay at Lima, Captain B. 
having settled his affairs, and procured a first officer's 
appointment for Mr. N. in a vessel for London, we 
both started in the Pacific mail steamer for Panama. 
Arriving there, we crossed the isthmus together, and 
at Colon we parted — Captain B. for Southampton, 
while your humble servant continued his travels by a 
circuitous route toward the scenes of his earlier days, 
having at length arrived at a knowledge and just 
appreciation of the all-important FACT that LIFE